Monday, September 12, 2011

Composition 101

The year before I took Composition 1, I went through a very traumatic physical and emotional experience. My instructor told me after the semester was over that it seemed I was using Comp. as a theraputic tool. "Yeah... it seemed like you were working through some hard stuff." And that was it. No question about what happened. No assumptions. No judgements. And perhaps that was the perfect reaction for her to have. So much that I still remember it almost a decade later.

The issues are in the tissues.

Composition 1 is one of the more difficult classes I think that students of dance take. It's something that is usually scheduled in their second year of academic study. The elements are "simple" and I try to present them in a way that is academic (almost coldly scientific?), but the truth is that, when working with the body, you can't separate the spirit and the mind. The body cannot lie.

I often hear that presenting your own work, or showing a self-created, self-performed solo is almost so scary that it can be inhibiting. The self-made solo is raw and honest in a way that performing someone else's work is not. As a solo-artist, I put my self, my process, my soul on the line.

There's a certain level of honesty too.. I can't hide from myself. I don't get to diffuse my experience with other dancers in the room. Even if the movement is just movement for movement's sake, the execution and listening to my body will release a truth that I may not be ready to accept. Not quite yet.

But at the same time, I want and need to be able to listen and to know and investigate. It's a scary place, but it's a good place.

So, I'll dive more deeply into body, time, space, and energy and hope that these tools will reveal not only the dance, but a bit of my own truths.

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