Student Blog: Creating and releasing through student choreography

November 21, 2016

By Celine Kiner

I sat down to write this blog at an hour…well, at an hour that I shouldn’t be writing this blog. I won’t disclose more than that, because my mom reads my entries and I would rather she not worry.

The reason for my late-night writing is simply that this week has been an absolute whirlwind, with full classes all day and shows every night, not to mention our extracurricular commitments. With the end of the semester coming, the freshman and sophomore BFA cohorts are finding ourselves swamped in final projects and papers, and attempting to find time to complete them while we simultaneously devote our full attention to the fall performances. We are busy, to say the least. Managing our classes, rehearsals, jobs, and friends is quite the load. So naturally, we have decided to create and perform our own original works, rehearse them on our own time, and compile them in the BFA Student Works Performance. Which is next week.

To participate in a voluntary showing such as this one when we’re so busy seems a little bit strange to most. But if you know any of us, you know the way we crave creating. You know the way our faces animate and our being jolts when we get to be our own dancing selves in our own dancing space. And for many of us, this time of stress and constant repertory rehearsal creates a pulsing artistic voice that begs release. So we dance to combat the dance being thrown at us, in a seemingly very strange but actually very logical arrangement.

Many of us created our pieces by allotting studio time to just experiment with our thoughts. This type of play has been extremely therapeutic for student choreographers who need to work out the concepts we’ve been learning in class–it allows us an outlet through which to communicate our research and to navigate the knots in our understanding. I know I needed a space for this, and I’ve heard from a few dancers that Jessica, Adam, and Alvaro do the same when creating work. In fact, Alvaro’s concept developed into a project so big he decided it needed to incubate in the studio for another semester before it saw an audience.

And there is undoubtedly a need for pure release: a release of stress, frustration, and physical or emotional injury. Even a release of happiness. We all dance to express, and sometimes letting our bodies move in ways we are allowed to dictate is a necessary luxury. And to do so with our closest friends is the most efficient healing process there is. So when you reserve your tickets for next week’s Student Works Performance, do so knowing that these works are simultaneously transcriptions of our daily lessons and true reflections of our innermost workings. And that we cannot wait to share them with you.