by Kimberly Peterson
Recently I was linked to an amazing video that kind of took me by surprise. I haven’t had a lot of exposure with pole dancing and knew very little of what it could be – save the intentional erotica that movies and television portray it as. However, this video of Jeynene Butterfly completely changed my perception of what this form of movement could be. Don’t be shy, she’s not nude or anything.
The most fascinating thing (besides the sheer strength involved) for me revolved around the use of the Transverse Plane of movement – that is movement which happens horizontally. The suspension achieved by the use of the pole enables a full range of movement options unavailable in the same way by dancing vertically on the floor.
Now, if you are anything like me, you’ve found yourself once or twice in a studio, frustrated with always being vertical, but not excited by a long form “floor” dance. Seeing Ms. Butterfly got me thinking about other ways in which dance could explore the Transverse Plane.
I first had caught wind about Project Bandaloop a few years back, when they performed in Dallas. This group, out of California, focuses on suspension as a way to engage their surroundings and by doing so – explores the possibilities of movement in the transverse plane as well as exploring the realm of gravity.
There are many things which further excite me about Bandaloop, in that it takes dance out of the theatre and directly into the world. It blends the two, merging the artistic with the mundane, asking us to re-imagine our surroundings.
It is exciting to see dance being transformed by such innovative means. It makes me want to know what is next for the field – what may be possible – and how re-imagining something as simple as verticality can open up a new world of movement where limits are routinely broken.
BIO: Contributor Kimberly Peterson, a transplant to Minneapolis from the Dallas area, received her BA and MA from Texas Woman’s University’s prestigious dance program.
Drawing on her experience with producing dance works, Kimberly has served as lighting designer, stage manager, event coordinator, volunteer and an advisor in various roles. She has taught in various roles and her choreography featured at ACDFA, TCC South Campus and Zenon Dance Studios. Her recent internships with Theater Space Project and the Minnesota Children’s Museum have served to expand her skills in arts administration and development.
Her graduate research explored the parallels between the independent music industry and current methods of dancer representation. Fascinated with how art is represented and presented in society, she continues to develop this research while delving further into this complicated subject through her dance writing.