On NY eve I was watching the latest Star Trek movie and the director was talking about how he opted out of using computer graphics for all of the shots. While he did take advantage of the technology, he also emphasized the importance of scenes looking real and he shot on actual sets whenever possible or practical. It made a difference.
This made me reflect a bit on dance and what I have seen over the course of my 36 years in the field.
I’ve now been around for a while…long enough to see some interesting shifts in dance. When I was growing up, ballet was the big thing. As I got older, modern dance moved front and center; pushing back against the strict, narrow bounds of classical dance. Everything was angular and contractions and shapes became the way people expressed themselves through movement. What is interesting is that after all the dust has settled, what we now have is a sort of marriage between the two.
Companies such as The Joffrey and Hubbard Street Dance Company (I’m from Chicago, what can I say?) have taken the best of both worlds–much like the director of Star Trek–and blended them seamlessly, creating a beautiful mixture of the two. It has been fascinating to watch, and I have to say that I really like this new type of dance. I can still appreciate the classics, and modern dance always spurs creative ideas, but the balance of the two is beautiful.
In the world of dance, one of the benefits to getting older is that you have more perspective. You can see the forces that shape present day performance at work on the stage–and sometimes even in the classroom. I’m sure everyone experiences this a little bit differently, depending on how many years they have been around, and what their background is, but today I just thought I would share mine.
Best wishes for a wonderful 2010!