This past weekend I had the great experience of working with the dancers of the Georgia Dance Theatre. I set a new work on five very talented dancers for the company’s end-of-the-season production. The work is titled WITHIN. Set to the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil, it is inspired by the powers of temptation which lie within all of us.
As a choreographer, it is always a challenge walking into a new studio, not knowing the dancers, and creating a work in a limited amount of time. I’ve been told, and this has been my experience, that it takes about one hour to set one minute of choreography. This is just to teach it and space it. Formulating the concept, arranging the steps, and fine-tuning, takes days and many more hours. Because I had six hours to set four minutes and did not know the dancers, I made sure I was prepared with ample choreography. I usually like to take my time, get to know the dancers, and mold the choreography to how they move naturally. So, I was a bit nervous.
The dancers did an amazing job picking up the choreography. They were focused, they worked hard, and danced beautifully. They were eager to learn and to perfect, which made my job easier. I completed the work and now it is theirs. They will continue to rehearse and fine-tune until it is performed in June. It feels a bit like sending a child off to college. I look forward to seeing the final product.
As an artist, I enjoy taking on challenges. These challenges help me problem solve, adapt, innovate and strengthen my craft. Thank you Georgia Dance Theatre for being a part of my creative journey!