Recently, I wrote a personal statement for my Second-Year Transformational Experience Program Proposal. In this statement, I explicitly discuss my interest in choreography and how it is related to my minor in sociology:
“My most fundamental relationship with movement is as an observer, and although my movement cognisance may be heightened as a choreographer, I believe this is the case for all humans. We gather endless information from other bodies and how they move—in fact, our bodies are programed to feel what we see other people experience through mirror neurons. I remember the first time a 20-minute work of movement made me feel something that I can only describe as an empathetic pang. Of course, at the time I didn’t truly understand the concepts of empathy or mirror neurons, but it didn’t matter. I felt the dance as if I were the dance itself. The intersection of space, time, and effort through inherently narrative bodies was and is deeply relatable on a personal level. Then, I was not conscious of the power of individual interpretation, and how every person in an audience experiences dance differently, dependent on their own memories, hopes, and sensitivities. Now, I believe this is the most beautiful aspect of dance—we all experience it through our own eyes and bodies. I study choreography for the same reason I study sociology: I want the world and the seven billion people in it to be better—to care more about one another and the planet we share. As a choreographer, I am given the power to remind society to care.”
As indicated by this statement, I am interested in creating work that provokes audiences by reflecting and analyzing tensions and inequalities that exist within and between human populations. I would like my senior project to be the first in this series of work. The coursework I am taking for my minor has widened my sociological imagination which, in turn, has clarified my ideas about how to choreograph meaningful work. The more I understand the flaws in our nations interconnecting systems, the more apparent it becomes that these flaws could be diluted if we openly address them and sharpen our empathic abilities. Through my work, I would like to do just that.
I am a firm believer that process is equally as important, if not more important, than product. Having a meaningful experience with the dancers I choose to collaborate with will allow me to create a work for them, not just on them.