Artist’s Statement

My goal for this piece was to allow audience members to accompany my dancers on their own personal journeys to reject social/personal constrictions on their bodies to reach a higher state of consciousness. I want the bodies present onstage to become so in tune with themselves and their movement that they forget they are performing in a public space. How was I to do this without knowing the personal backgrounds of my dancers? Or even what provoked them to move without hesitation?

I solved this dilemma by primarily creating a semi-structured space in which the dancers oscillated between an extremely present and performative world to a more private and personal collective amongst themselves. Dances performed at African-based religious ceremonies (Vodoun, Candomblé) were integral to the formation of the space I created for my dancers. Moreover, sensual and highly postured shapes (choreographed movements) characterize the dancers’ movements within the hyper-performative world, while their movements within their more private worlds are characterized by their own personal styles, or how they choose to move uninhibited (improvisation).

The dancers must realize that there will always be outside distractions (an audience, pestering reoccurring thoughts) that will inhibit them from reaching that higher state of consciousness. Thus, within the piece they must strive to find their own self-confidence and comfort in order to block out distractions and unwanted attention. Audience members should gradually realize that their gaze becomes irrelevant, and that the dancers are living and supporting each other within their own collective.

-Constance W. Harris

Published by

harrisco

I've always loved rhythms and performing in public spaces. My mom helped to grow that love within me by placing me in jazz, tap, and ballet classes starting at the age of 7. I continued until I was about 11. From 11 to about 14, I didn't have any formal dance training. I had some opportunities to dance in school plains, still pulling from the little, but solid technique I learned from a few years back. Upon entering high school, I started taking modern dance classes and continued until I graduated. When I started Dickinson, I continued with modern dance, but I have also begun to pay more attention to hip-hop, belly dance, and west african dance.

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