The intention behind the blog is to provide a transparent, accessible space for critical reflection on dance and dancemaking—reflection not only about the creative process within the company itself, but also on the context for that process—the field of dance and choreography today. HMD has been working in the studio now for six weeks on the creation of a new work, Reluctant Light. In general terms, the piece is about intimacy and emotional surrender—the moment when events or relationships push us to the edge of that proverbial cliff and we either jump in or walk away.
What does it mean to surrender? Everything changes, and yet we navigate the world assuming that our landmarks are fixed. The human drive to control constantly pushes against a deeper reality of uncertainty. We must organize ourselves and our environment in order to function. But, in the words of poet Carolyn Forche, “We are so made that nothing contents us.” Only when we surrender to the ephemeral can we experience freedom and intimacy. But how do we surrender?
Today in the studio I encountered a translation challenge: how do you reconcile visual and kinetic desires in the creative process? Inside the movement, dancers solve problems through the body. They “think” their way through situations physically. On the outside, as a choreographer, I work primarily with visual information. When something “works”—moves me aesthetically or emotionally—it registers as a visual image. How do I recreate those moments with the dancers? What are my tools? How do my tools influence our outcomes? I can use video as a tool, and ask the dancers to recreate a moment in time. Or I can work without video, and the process becomes a more complex negotiation between visual and kinetic logic. Along the way, kinetics may need to surrender to visual desires, or visual preferences may need to surrender to kinetics.
-Hope Mohr, Artistic Director