Dance Downtown: The Three Stooges

Niasha Whitfield

Freshman Seminar

Ann Sofie Clemmensen

For the past few months I have had the absolute privilege to work with Dave Covey, Mitchell Rose, and Norah Zuniga-Shaw in their repertoire. Working with the three different choreographers, or also known as the three stooges, has helped me to grow and expand in my technique. Each choreographer has their own style and way of creating a work of art. Being in the process and having multiple opportunities to also watch things unfold in rehearsal has allowed me to be open minded in my craft. Knowing that there is not just one way of working or creating a piece, because sometimes you have to go through the rough patch before you have a smooth stitch. Finding those things out has helped me to understand that the creative process can not be defined entirely as one thing or one aspect of a thing. If it were defined as one thing, then it would not allow for discoveries in the process which could lead to the finale product which makes the dance a master piece. Since each piece is nearing the end I am beginning to reflect on how far I have actually come in the process. I remember coming into the process a little scared and nervous because I was the youngest out of the group to be casted. There was something about not knowing the other cast members that freaked me out because I felt that I wanted to be accepted. That fear soon escaped me because everyone was so loving and willing to help the young freshman. As I got more comfortable with the cast and choreographers I was able to make connections to the movement phrases that made sense to me through my personal experiences. I began to notice my learning style and my different preferences and holding patterns deep in the process because I was being thrown into works that I never have been a part of and have experienced.

Norah is using the technique from The Forsythe Company, which are having alignments in movements. When first learning about alignments I was very confused and it was not until we actually broke it down and talked about it that I knew what it was. Having that incite helped so much more throughout the process because then we as dancers knew what to look for and after that the piece began to come along very well. Same with Dave’s piece, it was not until we saw the glass orbs being blown and made that we understood what quality the choreographer was looking for. Also after seeing a visual it helped me to make a more conscious choice in what I was doing and the intention I gave it. In Mitchell’s piece we were given specifics in how we should express certain feelings and emotions so it would be clear and covey the correct embodiment to the audience.  Focusing on all these aspects of dance and training my mind to think in multiple different ways to say something special through movement has shown me how growth can be reached and be surpassed.

Posted in OSU

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