Fall 2014 I decided to choreograph a dance piece on the theme of privilege. The reason being was I was apart of a lot of campus wide discussion on diversity and inclusion through our campus diversity initiative. From these conversation I noticed people really didn’t understand the line of privilege. Assumption, victim blaming, and lack of knowledge of the issue were ruling the conversation. So me being creative, I decided to choreograph a piece about it for the 2015 Dancescapes Concert at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
We had auditions and these were the dancers that were willing to work with me. I sent a mass request for dancers and these faithful individuals came and worked.
I first, I used an exercise with my dancers that discussed privilege. In this exercise I ask a series of questions and and based on that question they moved forward or backwards. Then research stereotypes that were associated with different races. After that I used google, yahoo, and bing and search “black men are..” “white men are..” etc. for each race and used the top 3-5 choices that popped up. Then I took it to my dancers as asked them to create movement that they felt describe the word.
Here is the movement we came up with
At first I was dabbling with the idea of a post-racial America theory, but because of too many inspirations, ideas, and lack of “reality” (in my opinion) in this theory I scratched it. But below is the movement phrase I came up with.
I adjudicated for our school dance concert and it didn’t get accepted. I plan on continuing this work at a later date.
Her was the product we showcased for adjudication.
The roughest part foe me was trying to get the dancers to see the overall vision of my piece. I had many ideas and movement that wasn’t begin executed in the manner i want it. Also many absences and sick dancers caused gaps in learning. I as a choreographer am still learning how to communicate task and movement that my dancers can do in their own technical skill. What I learned is that everybody is special in their movement, you have to flexible in settings with limited resources. Also saw the effects of not properly respecting rehearsal time as well as being unorganized can cause confusion.
Here is a hour of rehearsal with us.