Tag Archives: empathy
It was interesting to work inside someone else’s physicality but make movement that reflected both my sensibilities and Daniel’s sensibilities. As we crafted this section, I really tried to become more and more like Daniel every time we did it, without sacrificing my physical range, or my instincts as a dancer with a lot of training in a particular style. As perhaps an answer to my questions about empathy in my last post, it may be that learning how to be Daniel without losing my self to “Daniel-ness” is a way to honor both of our contributions to the process.
Choreographically, there is great benefit to this sort of empathy building. In attempting to “be” another dancer, I begin to recognize their preferences. The more I attempt to “be” another, the more I can internalize these preferences and predict how another person will move. It’s easy to recognize this empathic exchange in dancers who have spent a long time dancing together: their deep, physical knowing of the other allows them to read each other in the unpredictable space of live performance, and make split-second choices together.
I’ve made many dances in which the dancers stand and watch each other. Usually, there is some section that involves a group or person standing still, watching a group or person do something more physical. In rehearsal this week, I formalized this, having the dancers actually sit at the front of the stage in chairs […]