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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The lowdown on the Lockdown

I think I'm way overdue in filling you all in about why my piece was not selected for the Spring Dance Concert, so here's the scoop...

In a nutshell, the faculty selected the pieces they did because the two choreographers will graduate in the fall, and neither have ever had their piece in a spring or fall concert, so the faculty wanted to give them that opportunity before they leave CSU. I have mixed feelings about this, but am too tired to delve into them all right now.

It was a big relief to find out that the basis upon which they didn't choose mine had nothing to do with the song. This may sound strange to some, so here's the scoop on that: certain faculty are not cool with students using music or songs with lyrics because they don't want movement created to literally match the lyrics. Okay, I understand this sentiment to a point, but I don't think that its impossible to choreograph to a lyrical song without being dictated by the words, so I'm not 100% on board with their opinion.

Also, if a song moves a choreographer, than that's the song she or he should use; lyrics or no lyrics are irrelevant. The song I used for my piece was Love Lockdown by Kanye West. I chose it because the rhythm and drumbeats move me. The main beat throughout sounds like a heartbeat - this was key to my choreography and theme. [The embed link on YouTube is disabled, so go here to see and hear the song.]

We're encouraged in our choreography classes to find our own "unique choreographic voice"... so if that voice sings to the tune of a modern, mainstream song, then how can they tell us no? I don't think they can. I'm learning about all these American modern dance "pioneers" in my dance history class who claimed to choreograph to the times they lived in, using the composers and music of their day. If they did it, so can I. An Aerosmith song is in the queue for a future student concert. I have nothing against classical or instrumental music, and I'm sure I will use some in future pieces. But I'm not going to select instrumental music just because it's pretty. If pretty doesn't evoke emotion in me, the choreographer, than how will it touch the audience???

I may post further thoughts on all of this and about my piece, but what I wrote above is much more than I intended when I sat down at my computer, so that's all I have in me for now. I'm hella tired, so its time to think about sleep...

1 comment:

  1. Well stated... 'your points' - so are they againsts like artist having dancers in the background during thier concerts? - seems to me that is where many of the 'professionals' end up getting the majority of thier work. hmmm. maybe the old saying is true.. if you cant do..... teach? - - what do you know.. good for you -sticking to who you are as an artist-

    the music makes us move and we dance. so there.