Tuesday, December 15, 2015

URSP Student Kelsey MacEachern Conducts A Choreographic Exploration on the Physical Manifestation of Human Emotion

Last year, I had the privilege of presenting my first work of choreography at the American College Dance Association. While there, a panel of professional adjudicators blindly reviewed and critiqued dances from colleges across the Mid-Atlantic region. They often commented on the inability of dancers to fully explore and feel what it was they were trying to convey. If the dancer does not fully embody the emotion or movement, the audience member will not successfully receive the choreographer’s intent. It is this connection between dancer and audience member that I had hoped to examine more closely. 

Specifically, the emotional capacity and ability of a dancer to effectively portray a character, personality, or emotion to an audience. Being fascinated with the concept of the seven deadly sins and contrasting virtues, I decided to focus my research on those well-known personalities. As a dancer, exploring this concept will help me become a better performer. As a choreographer, it will enable me to more effectively work alongside other dancers in order to communicate intent through movement performance.

On a weekly basis I hold two, hour and half, rehearsals where I explore movement and choreographic research with my cast of eight dancers and two understudies. Also, I perform my own scholastic and creative research to prepare for those rehearsals, meet with my mentor for feedback, and converse with my costume designer Mailey Shimon. Having finished choreographing the main section of my piece, this week, I began to dive further into character development for each dancer, creating a captivating opening with a brief cameo or introduction to each sin or virtue. I am currently working with the dancers to enhance these personalities, and prepare to present my final product on stage at the Mason Dance Company’s “Fall: New Dances” concert.