Trisha Brown Repertoire, Dairakudakan & "Hypothetical Stream"

This week in my Trisha Brown Repertoire class, we executed learning a phrase forward and backwards. Each detail, every weight transfer and all directions matched— like human origami, we folded the space with our bodies practicing the study of negotiating time, space, shape and energy—again both forward and backwards. Perhaps these wise words of Abbey Yager can help you understand: “Sololos is one of the purest expressions of Trisha Brown’s love affair with choreographic structure. Created in 1976, it is a study of causality - cause and effect, as well as logical processes, properties, variables and facts in which dancers respond to instructions called to them from a dancer offstage. The piece begins in simple unison, quickly unravels into visual complexity, and then re-ravels itself back to its beginning prompted by instructions given by the caller.” I was lucky enough to be chosen as the first caller; the on-the-spot choreographer. It was very difficult and would be incredibly difficult for someone who does not understand the movement and what is happening inside the world that is spontaneously created through the mind of the caller. Pathways and transformations and aesthetic are all challenged by simple words like “reverse” “branch” and “spill,” all of which send the dancers into their own worlds where psychology, dance and function meet. It was at the last second that I was able to get the dancers to come into unison and end together.

Working with Dairakudakan has been going swell! The choreographer came on Monday and we got to finally put all of our exercises to use and see what he would do with them choreographically. The name if his piece is called “the secrets of mankind,” and it’s danced in five sections. The entire piece will be 45-50 minutes long.  With a title like that, the rest of the dancers and I are ecstatic at what will come. One of the most interesting things is that the Japanese choreographer is taking a lot of imagery and ideas from a western perspective, and translating it to but represented by possession, death and other dramas of the Butoh practice. I will boast a little and say that the choreographer was so pleased with how much we learn that he is considering dancing the piece with us!

After a long a stressful day of dancing on Tuesday, I went to an audition for a project by William Forsythe. We had to perform a one-minute solo or improvise. Out of over 100 students, 11 were chosen. I was one of them! The project is one that Forsythe designed for Daniel Larrieu called “Hypothetical Stream” where the dancers have to decipher a number of sketches from Tiepolo, which Forsythe drew a series of vectors (or lines of direction). By the end of the project, we will have developed a dance out of these images. Stay Tuned!

Latest Posts

Martha Graham Dance Company's Xin Ying (James Jin, courtesy Ying)

How to Dance Outside

We've all been stubbing our toes and whacking our elbows dancing in less-than-roomy indoor spots lately (hello, 5' x 8' patch of bathroom tile). If you're lucky enough to have access to a backyard or other big green space right now, you're probably itching to take your grand allegro outside, especially as the weather gets warmer. But how can you dance safely and productively in the great outdoors? We got pro tips from Mike Tyus of Jacob Jonas The Company and Xin Ying of Martha Graham Dance Company, both of whom were dancing outside long before COVID-19 hit.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Listen to Black Dancers Speaking Out Against Racial Injustice

This weekend, protests against racially-charged police brutality—spurred by the unjust killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Sean Reed, and so many others—swept the country. Supporters, including many of members of the dance world, took to social media to share their thoughts, and express their grief.

As allies, one of the first actions we can take in this moment is to listen to and amplify the voices of Black members of our dance community. Here are some of the most powerful posts written by Black dancers.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Just a few of our special Class of 2020 digital covers

Congrats to Our 2020 Dance Grad Cover Stars!

We're thrilled to be honoring members of the great Dance Class of 2020 on special digital covers. One new cover star was revealed every day during the month of May. Take a look at all of our winners below!

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search