Studying My Compositional Desires

This semester I embarked on many choreographic escapades. Throughout my third year as a BFA student I took Music and Choreography under Daniel Roberts, Group Forms under Ann Sofie Clemmensen, and worked on my own choreography through the construction of a self-choreographed solo using Motif structuring.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.06.47 PMThrough both my solo Of Stillness (2017) and work in Music and Choreography, my studies focused on unpacking how my own mind and body operate together to compose. This brought me to an understanding that the two entities within my own form require differing time frames to process movement information. I can create a movement study in mere minutes, but I need spaced out chunks of time to edit and compose towards my choreographic interests. In many ways I think of my body and my mind as separate coexisting parts of a whole. I recognize that they have intelligences that shed light in different areas, and that it is the balance of thought processed between the two “filters” of sorts that allows unique movement combinations in space to fester happily through time.

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More Comp Tools: Minimalism and Repetition

This mid-semester composition study for my Music and Choreography course had me playing with ideas of minimalism and repetition. From this experimentation I played with how a smaller quantity of movement material could still work to make an entire piece arch.

Click HERE to view my full study!

Looking at the Music-to-Movement Relationship

As a part of my focus curriculum I am taking Music and Choreography, a composition course looking to explore the ways in which music and movement interact in space and time. I took the course because I am very much a person who understands based off of visual and kinesthetic information, less so with aural. Therefore I often forget to consider music as my compositional partner when creating.

To introduce the course, we began with listening to Sonata in B Minor, K27 by Domenico Scarlatti. We then scored the music, however we heard it. This helped us to realize that everyone hears music slightly differently. When there are many layers, one individual may hear an emphasis that another may not. In our scores we accepted our differences and just wrote down what we heard. In the picture of my notes, the top and bottom thirds of the page show two different ways in which I scored the Sonata.


After scoring the music, we created movement that went TO the music. How my movement unfolded may be seen through my drawings in the mid-third of my page of notes.

With the choreography set TO music, the second part of the assignment was to use that same musicality and set the movement to a pop song. This was not as thrilling for me. I got bored with the 8-count structure quickly and found my Scarlatti-inspired movement to outmatch the pop songs. I tried many different pieces of music and never really felt like I connected to any of them.

Parts 1 and 2 of this study may be viewed through my Vimeo account by clicking HERE.

In part 3 of our assignment, not included in my video, we were instructed to let go of the phrasing of the movement as we put our choreography to electronic music with a more minimal structure. We listened to artists such as Songar, alva noto, and Aoki Takamasa and chose music that we could use to expand the structure of our already existing material. What I liked about part 3 was how it allowed me to track the evolution of material from being exact to the music, to now existing in a more open-ended timeframe. It showed me how a phrase created to music has material that can exist in forms past the music under which it was created. Moving forward, this is a tool I can use for composition.

Healthy Living: the Working Balance of Body and Mind

As a dancer I aim to find balance and healthy living throughout my everyday practice. Healthy living for me means balancing body and mind. I believe that too often people think of themselves as carriers for brains rather than holistic beings. To me, especially as a dancer, healthy living comes by accepting oneself as both an intellectual person and a physical mover.

In dance we use movement improvisation as a way to fully utilize both body and mind because we see it as the purest expression of the whole self. Movement is the body’s first language, it is your first system of communicating with the world around you. Dance improvisation is then the visual manifestation of your first, and most individualistic language. screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-33-06-pm

To formalize this constant exercise of both body and mind through improvisation, I have begun to create a movement solo formed by effort, physicality, and motif movement analytics. Motif, one of few dance notation systems, uses symbols that correlate to specific actions or parts of the body to dictate movement. I use scores of these symbols to guide my movement improvisations in the creative process. I exercise my intellect and exhaust my physicality.

My goal is to continue this practice of working balance between body and mind as I complete this solo. I will achieve my health goals by creating 4-5 minutes of solo material that when danced, will make me SWEAT. I then want to take my work to the 2017 American College Dance Association conference so I may advocate for healthy living and the balanced self at a venue with other college dancers and professionals. This grant would help pay for that experience.

Balanced exercise of body and mind is the central tenet of healthy living, and it is my dream to share this knowledge with others.

My Intermedia Thoughts are Swirling

Midterm Reflection AU16

Everybody sees the world differently. Our perceptions shape the world around us as well as our learned histories. This is important information in everyday interactive situations, but it is also useful in the art of composing. Because even though I understand that everyone will see any work at least a bit differently, I want to be conscious throughout the creative process about all of the possible things “it” could be.

I put “it” in quotation marks because with movement the what-it-is factor does not always have words. Without being able to use language as it is commonly understood, it becomes ever more important that the experience of movement (on the part of the mover and audience member) become central over its materialization. Even if that experience is the search for meaning through the watching. The dematierialization of art through a Dadaistic approach and Wagner’s idea of Total Art, explained in Soke Dinkla’s article “From Participation to Interaction: Towards the Origins of Interactive Art,” have worked to broaden art’s inclusiveness through this lens stressing the importance of experience. What is interesting then is the evolution of technology’s integration in the arts as it pertains to inclusivity.

Norbert Wiener is one author in the history of intermedia technologies that I looked more into after browsing From Wagner to Virtual Reality. Originator of cybernetics, the science of communications and automatic control systems both machine and living, Wiener theorized that technology would play a crucial role in the advancement of human communications toward a more natural state of being. In his book The Human Use of Human Beings, he argued that society as we know it is in a constant state of decay, called entropy. However systems of communication, because they inherently rely on states of organization, work to bring society into negentropy, or anti-entropy. I have not yet read Wiener’s books, but I would someday like to. His prediction that technology could be revolutionary towards advancing healthy communication, but ultimately would not be if taken for granted, I believe is our reality. I want to go back in history through his texts to see what else I find.


Columbus Sky: Texture 10/14

I want to be informed when it comes to technology’s inclusion in life and art because in a lot of ways that is the direction I see movement advancing towards. Millennials need to experience a work with multiple senses and an allowed layer of interactivity otherwise they get distracted and don’t learn the experience of movement.

Because I am a millennial, the ability to work with diving into the pure essence of a thing, whatever that thing may be, is something I appreciate in our intermedia labs. Through our lab time we learn to play again. We are allowed to tap into our curiosities and dive deep down rabbit holes of exploration until we’ve exhausted the idea. This play is something I am looking to bring more into my everyday. The availability to question, to seek out, and to try all the thoughts moving through body and mind is a thrilling experience. An experience I think people have too little of.

Some words I bring up that relate to my recent experiences: perspective, perception, space, time, past, present, future, virtual reality, augmented reality, other-ness, color, shadow, shape. Some questions: how do histories collide in a work? how does a work begin? how does a work end? if meaning is always sought out but perception is always different, how do I shape a work? Some videos of intermedia I have been drawn to: Chunky Move- Biennale Danza 2010Box by the Creators ProjectMost Insane Immersive Movie Experience EVER, Part 2

Click here to see video excerpts of my intermedia experiences!

Thoughtfully Composing: My Final Comp Study

I started this process, for making my final solo study, with the intent to work outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to play with the creation of movement patterns that went against my tendencies, but my main focused was to compose along the lines of a process in which I highly edited my work. Normally when I set out to make movement I start in one place and I move until I feel I have satisfied whatever idea I was exploring. I move through one big phrase until I’m done. From there I may tweak a couple steps, redirect a couple facings and change a few dynamics, but overall I keep the order and all movements of the “thing” the same. So what I set out to do with this study, as my Final Study for Composition 2, was work by creating a couple separate chunked phrases which I would then edit to compose my solo.

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