Role: Performer Description: Mid Tide is the working title of a quartet choreographed by Lisa Race for herself , Annie Kloppenperg, Kendra Portier, and I. Developing this piece has impacted my modern dance technique pedagogy.
Lisa Race’s Mid Tide intertwines long phrases of athletic movement with spherical partnering sequences in a shifting landscape of pathways defined by tiny shells. The work seems to remind audiences of the ways memories are created only to change or disappear in time. My role as a dancer has been to learn and embody long phrases of movement, to collaboratively create intricate partnering, to propose compositional ideas, and to help tease out the physical and metaphorical concerns of the piece using verbal and physical communication. Often my colleagues or I might propose ideas while moving, necessitating quick responses and a deep understanding of the unfolding compositional concerns of the piece.
Bates Dance Festival Work in Progress Showing July 2017.
The mix of physical daring and particular attention to detail that Race brings to her work has been a revelation to me as a dancer. I had never before been asked to move so accurately and so fully at the same time. The added challenge of trying to compose with material I could barely technically achieve (in a supportive environment with inspiring colleagues) helped me to increase the efficiency of my movement and to learn quickly.
Inspired by this experience dancing on my “growing edge” in the rehearsal process, I have begun to simultaneously increase the athletic, compositional and technical challenges I offer in my advanced modern technique classes. Whereas advanced college students were often able to fully embody my phrase material, I now often attempt to create something that is a bit “too hard” for them. While prioritizing their physical safety and creating a supportive emotional and social environment, I give them the experience of failing to fully achieve the movement and continuing their work as performers. I have seen greater growth and confidence in my advanced students since incorporating this approach.
Lion’s Jaw dance festival. Green Street Studios. Cambridge, Massachusetts. October 7, 2017.
Work in Progress Showings
Back 2 Bates Concert. Bates College. Lewiston, Maine. September 23 and 24, 2017.
Bates Dance Festival Informal Showing. Lewiston, Maine. July 30, 2017.
Connecticut College. New London, Connecticut. May, 2017.
University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana. October 2016
The Dragon’s Egg. Ledyard, Connecticut. July 2015
Connecticut College. New London, Connecticut. Various Dates 2015-18.