Last week, as I listened to a new rdio station while programming at work, a song came on that sent me back 10 years, the Forest Gump Suite. I held a senior recital at the end of high school, which mostly included pieces from various dances I had performed in high school, some choreographed by me and some not. I had initially hoped to choreograph several new pieces and perform them with my friends, but I just didn’t have the time (I still have the scribblings of my good intentions). But I completed one original piece, asked my dad to perform with me, and together we…well we sort of brought the house down.
I knew it was a powerful concept I had selected, but I didn’t really process that much. I focused on the technical work and all the other busy things going on in my life (AP tests, graduation, spring dance performance with the company, selling and repairing Macs at the local Mac shop, preparing for college, healing the torn ligament in my foot, etc). When I watch the video, I get caught up in the detail of my skill all over. I am very aware that I was imperfect as a dancer. I see all the things I could have done better. Why didn’t I push my jumps higher? Why did I have that move there? Why this? Why that?
It is when I just listen to the music that I get caught up in the emotion. I’m not distracted by my short comings. I can feel the choreography in my muscles and know what concept I had in mind. That at one point in my life my dad was ever present, helping me through life and then slowly I went off on my own. You see Dad and I dance together and you see me do similar actions off on my own. You see me doing different actions all together as I dance on my own longer. I find it very meaningful that there was a lack of curtains on the stage for this piece. The audience could see him always watching over me from the sidelines, willing me to do the right thing. As a fierce teenager about to embark on independent living, I saw how exciting it was to go off on my own. Now, as an adult and as a parent, I see so much more. And when I just listen to the music, I too have tears in my eyes.
That’s why I enjoy choreography. I take something and make it so meaningful that I remind you of some important emotion your life, whether it be an important relationship, a special moment, or something else altogether. I have no idea how it will impact you individually. I just hope that it will come together some how. And that my dance, no matter how imperfect it is technically, will touch someone somewhere.