Goucher College’s 361 Advanced Choreography presented Altered, finally! It featured video adaptations from each piece and a closing video for the show. The show was great and it was sold out two nights! I choreographed a piece called The Secrets Bare. I created the most of the music except for the last section which featured the song Gravity by Sara Bareilles.
(The Secrets Bare- Gravity Section)
The Secrets Bare, is a group performance, in seven short sections, which is based on events that have shaped me personally and helped me grow. At the core of the work are my secrets that I have kept to myself. My keeping the secrets for long I have a hard time balancing my world and lose myself. The piece looks at self-image, emotions, and the journey to finding yourself again. The piece is dedicated to Shawnia T White for helping me see my potential, beauty and strength in myself.
(The Secrets Bare- Beautiful Pain Section)
I was nervous and excited to present my work to the greater Goucher community. I had injured dancers and honestly they struggled with the timing of choreography to the music. My dancers however did not fail me and presented a perfect show. They danced from their hearts and got the emotion across to the audience.
(The Secrets Bare- Twisted Section)
After the show I had students, teachers and family members approach me telling me what a strong and powerful piece it was. I even had one girl tell me the story she got from watching my piece. It wasn’t my intention, however I wouldn’t say she was wrong.
Overall the show was a grand success and it was called one of the strongest 361 shows. I am happy that I got to present my work to large audience and it was accepted. It makes me want to continue with choreography and continue to follow my dreams. The closing video of the choreographers dancing to “Sexy and I Know It” must have sealed the deal with the audience based on the amount of laughter and applause.
Great performers are hard to come by , but dancers who inspire other people to dance are rare. That is one of the major problems in the current dance world. Michael Jackson, a great performer and dancer help shaped our dance culture. Today he is still inspiring people to dance. Michael Jackson used ballroom styled moves in his dancing along with a fusion of break dancing moves. He combined both styles to give him the swag we know him to have today. The move Michael Jackson is most famous for is known as the Moon Walk.
[Google Images ]
Michael Peters was Michael Jackson’s choreographer and he had a specific style of movement. He choreographed to the sounds of the instruments he didn’t use established dance steps or rhythms. Together the pair would create and popularize other dance moves seen in today’s culture. Beat It 1983 introduced a new dance the Worm, also choreographed by Michael Peters. It is not the traditional worm we say today that break-dancers do, which is an undulating movement on the ground on your stomach creating wave-like movement, but a standing undulating movement that travels backward. Which you can see at 3:57 in the video below.
In his music video Beat It you can also see jazz dance influences, like fan kicks, Ballroom styled movement, which you see him effortlessly glide along the floor and break dancing movement where he balances on the tips of his toes. That pose became one of the many symbols that represent Michael Jackson and dance.
Michael Peters most famous choreographed piece for Michael Jackson was the dance in Thriller. Each movement Michael and the zombies dance to is on the sound of the instrument the very basic steps forward with the head tilting is on the sound of the drum which is emphasized. Thriller incorporated so many different styles of movement that it created the perfect blend. It has hip rolls, glides, fan kicks, spins, toe stands and the famous crotch grab all combined into sharp clear movement.
Michael Jackson was a large force in the popularization of break-dancing and dance. He has influenced many generations and his legacy lives on today though his music videos, movies and even his dancing game the Michael Jackson Experience. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. He has left the torch to everyone waiting on someone to pick it up and influence the dance world. Who is up to the challenge?
I have been working on my dance piece called the Secrets Bare. I love to dance and I love to choreograph. Im finding it hard to get my dancers to emote a real emotion while they dance the piece. I need to figure out a way to put an image in their mind so that the emotion is real. I had to switch two dancers around because one girl just could not give me an emotion, she was empty. I think that I am being picky for the simple fact that they are dancing my story, my struggle with myself, and my journey to where I am now.
The Secrets Bare is about me, and how I was sexually assaulted my freshmen year at college. I didn’t know how to deal with the situation and I kept inside of me till it started to destroy me. To put the icing on the cake my boyfriend at the time cheated on me and the girl he cheated on me with would verbally abuse me over the phone, Facebook, anyway possible. This went on for four months, I developed bad habits and hated myself it wasn’t until a good friend of mine helped me see my inner beauty and gave me strength to heal and I learned to love myself again.
This dance is my coming out story. I am creating the music and its powerful the emotion is crystal clear, you can hear the pain, visualize my journey. The dance is more difficult to explain. I have seven dancers all being a different version of myself but still representing other people at the same time. I have three dancers playing hate, anger, and the source of the problem. The remaining dancers are playing the different emotions I felt, lonely, worthless, ugly and unloved.
My goal is to have the piece take you on the last day that I felt those emotions right up till I realized that I am a beautiful and strong woman. The dance is in rough shape right now I am half way there. I Just need to figure out how to get the dancers to emote those emotions clearly.
“We either make ourselves miserable,or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda
Time is ticking down quickly and I am having a hard time adding new choreography. Some one is always missing and that makes it hard for me to add anything on. I am currently working on five solos and two duets. All of it is done except the last duet because I was missing the partner for it. I am building music for each solo which is difficult because I want the timing to be perfect with the movement and if I am missing people all I can do is guess how long it will take.
I made a new section of the music, I don’t know how I feel about it yet, I guess I will have to let it grow on me. Here is the song, let me know what you think.
That song will bleed into beautiful pain the powerful solo section. That section is about the person not being able to hold themselves together anymore, due to peer pressure, bullying, sexual assault and their boy friend cheating on them. I really think the song captures the emotion from those experiences. Here is the song again. Listen to the music and let a dance full of emotion just materialize in your head. What do you see?
Well I am home on spring break injured so I can’t physically dance right now but I am working on the beginning of the Secrets Bare and the music. I have so many great thoughts in my head it’s just a matter of translating them in to music and dance. Well off to get back to work on it, let me know what you think of the music.
How do you take your thoughts and turn them in to movement that is true? Does your movement reflect your personality? Can you teach someone else your movement vocabulary? These are things that I have to consider while choreographing for 361 Advance Choreography.
My piece is about losing yourself due to everyday occurring events that slowly break you down, like being bullied to the point where you believe what they say about you. Due to the bullying you now have self esteem issues and that causes you to not eat. Depression, Pain and Emptiness, those feelings will be evident in my work.
I am thinking of naming the work The Secrets Bare. I feel like its time to let the secrets out and let go. By holding on to them they have just weighed me down and held me back I think its time to let myself be free.
I am currently creating the music for my work, it is called Beautiful Pain, you can listen to it and let me know what you think. What emotions do you feel in the music? http://soundcloud.com/jan-delle-varinique/beautiful-pain
I will be talking more about the piece in the coming weeks and I will be posting video soon so you can see the process behind my method of choreographing.
“Dances without purpose have false starts and stops.”
– Hanya Holm