Here are some behind-the-scenes Q&As from each of the artists to give you food for thought on last weekends’ Momentum shows. What do you remember from the new works? Do these support your vision of the pieces?
Make a list of ten adjectives to describe your work.
Sachiko: contrasting. warm. bright. natural. manic depressive windy. personal. secretive. lonely. lost.
Sally: brave, silly, Fellini-esque, allegorical, musical, over-arching, ridiculous, still, upright, salacious
Megan: vulnerable, comedic, intimate, musical, endearing, personal, undisguised, particular, candid, bittersweet
How do you title your work?
Megan: For this piece, the title arrived before the piece did. I remember driving in my car and the title just popped into my head. Images of a group work had been playing in my head for a couple of years, and I let the title ruminate a while before it stuck to this particular piece. Typically I title a work after it’s done, or at least at some point during the process. So this piece was a little unusual in that respect.
Sally: This title came easily. It contains words that I never use– Paramount and Footage. The phrase had an absolute ring to it, for me and it reminded me of a Fred and Ginger movie.
Sachiko: “The Apple Tree,” because the story takes place around the symbol of nature and its forth, warmth, light, generosity, and gentleness, an apple tree.
Vanessa: I usually start out with a title to help focus the work. The title is inspired by the content that I want to express. Rarely have I found a title after the creative process has started.
What is the intent of your piece?
Vanessa: To celebrate, to rally coming together, to acknowledge a new era, to do something all together.
Sachiko: To spotlight un-heard peoples’ voice. To emphasize the sacrifice and mistakes people make in life, and loss of youth and innocence.
What have you learned about your process while creating this piece?
Sachiko: I discovered sometimes I am like a mathematician to make sense musically. I understand much of dance in a musical sense, since it is the nature of Flamenco. I read emotions and story within music. Music and dance share the same vocabulary in Flamenco. I see the light when my vision and ideas integrate with the music in my brain.
Has your piece changed since you began making it? How?
Vanessa: It changes every day with life’s experience and interaction. In the beginning there is what you know and what you think you know. Then through discovery and research it changes and adapts; the collision of thought, movement, and emotion.
What is your editing process?
Megan: I’ve always been a very visual thinker/processor, so that’s worked to my advantage in this project. I’m able to picture a section in my mind and virtually edit it as we have not had a ton of rehearsals together. I think it’s also a result of shooting digital photos over the last several years; it trains your eye to be more efficient at creating an image as well as framing an image. I can tell that I’m more aware of the holistic picture of the stage and theater, allowing me to take an almost sculptural approach to making the work.
How does the art form you’re working in express your work?
Sally: The form of ballet is key to this work, even if it isn’t apparent. The line, the opposition, the polarity in ballet, the tension— they are all describing my reality. The art form of theater itself is enabling me to transcend some of the literalness by way of layering images and repeating motifs. I think I have a lot to learn, though. I would like to harness these art forms more and be able to really bring the audience with me more, so that would know “Oh, this was important. OK, this part isn’t real, it’s just how it SEEMED at the time.”
Vanessa: Movement based performance in my opinion speaks to the poetic/subconscious mind and body. It transcends language barriers. This is my chosen form for those reasons and speaks to my desires to work on that level.
How do you respond to your own work?
Megan: Sometimes it’s like seeing an old friend; there is something recognizable and innately familiar to me. Sometimes with a cringe. Hopefully I’m engaged and drawn in to the images. Usually I’m most riveted by the performers themselves. With that said, I often do solo work, so that objectivity is more difficult. If a moment or image makes my heart beat faster or makes me hold my breath then I know I’ve made something successful that I hope provides a visceral, emotional connection for the audience.