You are choreographing for The Dance COLEctive’s “Higher Ground”, an upcoming weekend of performances in Chicago. Can you tell readers a bit about your piece and the idea behind it?
This piece is a look at the physical and mental necessities for an individual to develop a personal philosophy. The materials available to us such as media, literature and specialized individuals give us the ingredients to formulate ourselves, but what does one ultimately need in order to create their true individuality? Experience. Only then do we choose our path and honestly become what we are meant to be.
How did you work with the dancers throughout this process? What was that like?
I provided them with composition assignments, and free-writing prompts to generate movement and text. Then, I gathered the movement information and carefully sewed the pieces together in what I thought was the best way the dance would make sense.
In terms of music, how did you go about selecting what you would use for this, and did you choose it prior to or after your choreography?
After my choreography. I focused on the mood that I wanted to portray, and went from there.
What were the biggest challenges in terms of choreographing this piece?
Putting things together in a coherent fashion. There was so much beautiful movement that the dancers created, and using it in a way that made sense and created a story was difficult.
What has been the greatest learning experience for you throughout this process?
How to be on the other side.
What do you hope that the audience will see when they view your work?
That everyone should acknowledge the ridiculous things we do to better ourselves. As long as we are aware of them and realize that we should, in the end, rely on ourselves to do the work and make the choices.
BIO: Madelyn Doyle, a fourth year member of The Dance COLEctive, graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education and received a K-12 Certification in Dance through the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. She has been a part of the We Stand Sideways Dance Co., Thread Meddle Outfit, and independent productions with artist Megan Adams. In addition to establishing the Dance Department of Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago, she has assisted for the presenting series of Riverside Brookfield High School’s Orchesis and choreographed for numerous musicals and high school dance companies in the Northwest Suburbs. Madelyn is a Choreographer/Teacher/Producer for the Arlington Youth Dance Ensemble in Arlington Heights, and founded her company Demi Dancers in 2013 to support creative movement and pre-ballet in local preschools and montessori schools.