Today we’re continuing our series on choreography, thanks to the dancers from The Dance COLEctive who are choreographing for a show that is coming up in May…
Alaina Murray’s trio is about following directions. “Everything comes with directions: driving, cooking, games, taxes, school, work. What is the outcome of following, or not following, directions? Can not following directions prove to be its own path altogether? Routine movement sequences layered with surprising detours will explore these questions.”
Alaina’s pieces is called “Please read carefully. Here’s more about it…
1. How did you decide on this idea for your piece?
Recently the concept of rules has been a point of interest in my life. I’ve been thinking a lot about how this affects my life and the decisions I make. The initial broader concept of rules seemed to narrow into following directions as I thought about it further. This idea seemed to naturally lend itself to movement, and I was excited to explore it.
2. How did the idea of following/not following directions inform your choreographic process?
We were able to generate movement from very literal directions. We used a bread recipe, directions for changing a tire, and directions for being a good housewife. I wanted to convey the sense of order and repetition that comes from following directions in the structure of the piece. I also asked the dancers to write about their own experiences with following directions early on in the process. I wanted to know if they see themselves as rule followers or not; this was helpful in creating their individual characters for the piece.
3. Do you think that the piece would have been the same if you worked with different dancers? Why or why not?
Absolutely not, the dancers invented most of the movement vocabulary in the rehearsal process. I then was able to piece it all together with the dancers’ writing in mind. The dancers were very creative and thoughtful throughout the process, allowing the dance to unfold naturally. It has been a very collaborative process.
4. Did exploring this idea leave you with any new ideas once the dance was created?
The movement that we generated started to take on a very feminine tone early on. This was not my initial intention, but I went with it. What evolved was a vintage feminine theme that naturally displays the order and uniformity of following directions.
5. What was the most enjoyable part of this process for you and why?
I have loved quirkiness in the piece. It was not my intention, but there are several humorous moments that evolved unexpectedly, and I love them.
BIO: This is Alaina Murray’s seventh season with TDC. Originally from Michigan, she received her BA in Dance from Western Michigan University. Alaina has also worked with Open House Dance Collective as a choreographer, dancer, and teacher for many years. She performed with Inaside Chicago Dance as a guest artist in 2006. Alaina shares her love of dance with little ballerinas every day at A Fairytale Ballet, a children’s ballet and creative movement program. She is the Chicago Regional Director of A Fairytale Ballet and Starbright Dance and manages four studios in the city.