My Funny Little Paradigm

For my Improv class we had to write up a short paragraph that described our paradigm - ie. what do we value in creating and watching dance/performance. This is a hard assignment - it is so easy to be vague or go into academic speak and sound pompous. So, here was my solution - not sure it worked...

The lights come up on a performer who begins to move slowly, with pauses. She waits and then continues. Music begins that is unfamiliar with sounds that you can't quite place. Another performer enters and begins talking. At first the talking is confusing. You realize he's talking about his family, but also about the earth or politics, with bits of poetry weaved in. It takes some time to figure it all out. Now the two performers are in a duet where they support one another, roll, separate and come back together. They dance like two cats - similar in their fullness, but remarkably different in their choices. The music suddenly shifts, other performers enter and everything comes to stillness. They wait with attention. A performer begins to move from undulations of the spine, exploring the inner space and finding supple movement. You believe her. Her limbs become more active until her whole self is energetically filling the space, almost in a trance and at the same time you see everything she is doing. She is balancing a hurricane and a microscope in each movement. They all begin moving, maybe more like walking, but with purpose, with each other. There are small interactions while we hear a voice off stage describe her mother's gardening tools, or a distant conflict, or the path in the woods she walks each morning alone. The work ends with a subtle shifting movement phrase and one by one the dancers leave. One dancer is left and, with care, begins to cry as the lights fade. You're not sure what has happened, but you're feeling melancholy or relieved or satisfied. You'll have to think about it.

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