A Study in Process

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Image drawn through listening to Rubato by George Gershwin

For my final project in Music and Choreography I was instructed to create a 3-4minute group piece with 3-4 dancers acknowledging a clear relationship of movement to music. I was able to use a process for creating that suited me best; my only guideline was to use an image I drew for a different class assignment, seen above, to inform my spatial patterns.

With limited time as finals drew near, I decided that what I most wanted to focus on for this choreographic creation was in fact the process of making the movement. Throughout the semester I have been developing a system of random score generation with Motif symbols. I write out Motif symbols on small squares of paper, each correlating to a different idea of movement or intention, for them to then be picked at random and

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Hazel’s score through english wording

arranged between the bar lines that create a score. For my group work, each individual had control over a solo phrase that they would arrange visually on paper, and then create physically by moving through the score. For example Hazezl, one of my dancers, created a score that reads “hop either side, with the fingers, leading into rebounding springs. Any gestural path backwards followed by a pelvis movement to the rights, ending in the up area with slight flexion. After a stillness, scatter both sides in a low plane, and finally engage a heavy accent in any high direction.” Image of this score seen to the right. Each of the commands, suggestions, intentions, body parts, etc. outlined through the english wording of this score correlates to a different Motif symbol. Image of

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Hazel’s score through Motif symbols

Hazel’s Motif score seen to the left. (Note that these two scores are actually just the same one score. I had the dancers pick the score by looking at the Motif symbols, and if they were not sure of the meaning of one or wanted english wording continuity for themselves they could flip over all of the cards to see the definitions of what they had created.)

After each had generated their solo material off of their score, I watched each solo. To match up my spatial patterns from my drawn image, I drew out what each dancer did in their solo. Images seen below. In these small drawings my full attention was on the movement, my pen remained on the page for my hand to simply copy what I saw. From there I matched each individuals’ solo material to where it would go in space and how they would relate to one another.

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All scores created/used throughout the work

The current structure of the work as presented goes as follows: material I developed from my own score and taught to the dancers, preface material from individuals’ solo score phrases, and the full solos of the dancers pieced together. If I had had more time, or if I continue this work in the future, I would like to dive into the solo phrases that my movers created and tailor them to attend to my own choreographic desires. This would alter the nature of the scores themselves, and I would therefore look to conclude a process by drawing up what the Motif score of the work became.

I am excited to continue my work on process. This is a very interesting one and so far it has proved fruitful. More experimentation is in my future.

See the video of this work as it currently stands by clicking HERE.

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