So it’s been a while since I last worked with a new community of performers. Especially for this work, this is proving to be an adjustment of my own comfort levels. How do I teach a style of movement I have never had to break down, deconstruct and explain? How do I codify some of house’s vocabulary while trying to maintain its free-form aesthetic base?
Quite frankly, I am more interested in using its qualities of bounce, rapid shifts between bound and free energy, and focus on down-centered weight (even when the body’s top half is pushing upward).
Stylistically, I’m interested in:
The play between introversion/minute movement, almost gestural and introspective;
Movement that attacks with strength – I often see this in what I like to call the “house hoedown” stomp;
And the fierce “performance” (equatable in Trini English to the notion of “playing yuhself”) style in which I have seen/experienced radical shifts across gender play (i.e., combination of the ball room scene’s voguing styles and/or the spectre of the disco diva’s glam vamp persona and a kind of butch up/hyper-masculine attack on movement).
How can I use these observations/foundations as markers to hone performance style (which I think will be critical to this piece more so than the actual vocabulary itself)? How can I use these qualities to infuse an improvisational edge to the piece – getting the community of performers to understand and embody them?