On the last day of the contemporary intensive, the students finished their day with a choreography skills class. Now let me preface this by saying that the day before, this group was very shy in their improvisation class. Moving how they wanted to versus doing specific choreography that was given to them was definitely out of their comfort zone. I was nervous about how open they would be to making something that was their own.
We started off the class creating movement in pairs doing an exercise I call “dance twister”. Each pair has a person “A” and a person “B” and I called out different things for them to do. “Person A, initiate your next movement from the top of your head. Person B, make your next movement have a heavy quality.” etc. By the end of this they had a beautiful duet together.
Then, plot twist! They had to turn their part of the duet into a solo. I got several “deer in the headlights” looks, but reassured them to trust the process. After several minutes to themselves to figure it out it was time to perform in random groups of three. The work all of the students created blew me away, but one group really stood out to everyone.
This trio had such a wonderful flow. It looked as though they had worked together, even though they hadn’t. Suddenly they all made the same shape at the same time. It was a moment of pure dance magic. The whole room gasped together and some whispered “woah” to their friends. It was such a beautiful thing seeing a room full of kids, who had been skeptical about the exercise at first, see the kind of wow it could create.
Making moments like the one that happened in this class is what most choreographers aim to do. We want to stop the audience in their tracks and command their attention. But there is something so powerful about this happening organically, like it did with these students. Take a look at the video below of this group sharing their work so you can feel the magic too!