For the past few weeks myself and two colleagues have been in the process of making a work about our experience of being black women. We have been interested in experimenting through movement our black female identity. During this past semester we took a course called Black Dance Continuum, which considers the black continuum in American dance as it has developed in the United States from the antebellum era to the present. During the course, we noticed the absence of black female choreographers and their stories in the history of black dance. So this summer we have come together to add our experiences to the continuum of black dance. A poem by Danielle Horton, Letter To My Future Daughter, have been words that have guided this process. The link to the poem is below.
Letter to My Future Daughter…
By the end of the summer we hope to complete this process with a video presentation. Here is a first little draft of the process within the studio.
The performance of Untamed Space by Renegade Performance Group was a melting pot of technology, music, movement, and wonder. The melodies and rhythms flowed from the music and was transported into the projections displayed on the scrim and into the bodies of the dancers. Along with responding physically to the music, the dancers created their own sounds becoming instruments themselves. Fusing the technological effects with specific songs related to spirituality and the Black culture, brought the audience into the world of Afrofuturism. The choreography of the show was based upon a series of movements that were used throughout. Pairing specific phrases with music that was complimentary enhanced the reception of the movement, while phrases that were linked to contradictory music allowed for mental contemplation and an acceptance over time. With the bulk of the movement being floor-work and using the technique of physical propulsion, the dancers filled the space and music with electric energy that resonated well after the show is over.
My Music and Composition Professor tasked me with making a repetition study using minimalist composers. I chose a piece by Steve Reich, Music for 18 Musicians: Section I. The creation of this study allowed me to explore a new part of my choreographic practice. I found myself moving in a completely different way than I’m used to, however it felt natural. When I performed the study and got feedback, I realized my lack of stillness within the study. This made me reflect, and I realized I enjoy being in constant motion when moving. However, with the assignment being repetition, the use of stillness would allow for viewers to fully see my gestures and be able to digest them. If I continue this study I will infuse the use of stillness and allow for the movement to develop organically.