I’m working on a solo called Virginia that will appear in the Winter Concert in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University in February. The work developed out of a series of assignments in my graduate composition course this fall, beginning with Susan Petry’s “density” study assignment. Susan Rethorst, a visiting artist in our department, is teaching the course now after Susan Petry’s five-week session, and I’ve since accumulated movement ideas and images from studies in her class.
The music is “Four Organs” by Steve Reich, suggested by my sound designer friend Stowe Nelson, who sent me options after I emailed him an early draft of my study. It’s amazing how he works! I met Stowe when I danced for Dance Exchange, and I’m always delighted by his ability to see movement and very quickly understand what music/sound will support the dancing, or bring out something new in what’s already there, or push the development of a work. Stowe sent a number of tracks to try, but the repetition of Reich’s work that grows maddening (believe me) and then soothing with a continued listen, really supports the more fractured nature of the movement ideas here. And, it gives me a great chance to play with when I fall into the lulling repetition of the music and when I dance overtop of, under, and through it. I love dancing to it, and beginning to try this solo with the music has really colored my performance of it, and the development of the work in the recent weeks.