In alignment with my one of New Year’s resolutions to stop unnecessarily apologizing, I am not sorry I haven’t posted one of these in a while–I’m busy and when I get the chance to sit down and write one, that’s when I’ll write it, and that’s ok!
I left you last in November, and the rest of the schoolyear was a blur with the semester’s end beating me into a stressed pulp from all sides. Out of the altered state in which I was existing came a pretty awesome research paper about Marie Antoinette and Myrtha (supervillain/vampire/Queen from the ballet Giselle) which can be found here if you’re interested.
After a week of sun, rest, and family time in Florida, I headed to New York City for the ADF Winter Intensive. It was an incredible 10 days and I am so thankful to OSU’s Dance Department for helping to make it financially possible. The classes centered around exploration, questioning, and making change in yourself to instigate change around you. I’ve never been in an atmosphere where everyone was so genuinely excited to see others succeed on both the micro and macro levels.
One evening, a panel discussion was given on making art in the current political climate–how do we do it, how does it work, does it work, etc. The current school dean of ADF, Leah Cox, made one comment that struck me in a particular way. It was about how as very hierarchically-oriented processes become more and more outdated, the arbitrary categorizations of “dancer” vs. “choreographer” vs. whatever else you want to call yourself are becoming less and less relevant and or necessary. Knowing how much I have come to enjoy collaborative work since coming to OSU, I knew this comment applied to me. I have been considering and planning to create my own focus from scratch in my major, with it potentially being called “Rehearsal Directorship.” After this panel, I realized that while I am definitely interested in filling that role in the future, I didn’t want my focus to sound so specific. So I launched into one of the self-interrogations I am so well known for.
What about that role interests me? Well process, for one, has always been my favorite part of dance. I think because going to professional ballet schools meant you rehearsed the same thing for 7 months to get to perform it once forced me to grow an appreciation for it. I couldn’t just treat it as a means to an end without making myself miserable. Secondly, as someone who is interested in analyzing the power structures at play in any given situation, playing an intermediate role between the “creator” and those people carrying out their creative vision is attractive to me. So at this point I had established what I wanted to “focus” on, but I lacked an all-encompassing word for it.
This is where the internet came to the rescue. I did a lot of googling, then rephrasing and re-googling, hoping to find the magical word of my dreams…and then I did. This quote lay at the top of a transcendentally fateful webpage:
“…is devoted to three tasks: the ideas which underlie a given piece of performance; the means by which those ideas are communicated – text, structure, image, movement and so on; and the process established to explore, create and refine the work.” –Brian Quirt
Now for the big reveal! “Dance dramaturgy.” Apparently that’s what I’m interested in is called. People have retroactively told me, “oh of course” and “yes, I totally could have told you that” and “wow, that’s so obvious!” And I believe all of those things, except I absolutely had to come upon this through my own soul (and internet) searching. I am now considering switching my focus to History, Theory, and Literature, as this is most likely the best preparation for the EVENTUAL (no one freak out, it’s not gonna happen right away) master’s degree I will most likely need/want/absolutely live to get.
Aside from that life-changing revelation, things are different this semester by way of workload. Fall semester, it wasn’t unusual for me to spend 13 hours in Sullivant Hall (the building that houses the Dance Department) literally without seeing the light of day. This semester, I am taking MicroEcon, Kinesiology, Introduction to Physical Anthropology, and and Comparative Religion class. I have classes in the most southeast and most northwest classrooms back to back, and yes it’s a little nerve-racking but more so refreshing and inspiring. I feel like a normal student and get to wear something other than sweats a whole two days a week. Unheard of.
Until next time, whenever that ends up being! -Kat xx