I’ve been pretty vocal about why I don’t typically post reviews of college/university-based productions. It’s because viewing dance in terms of pedagogy is different than viewing it in terms of standard criticism. But that doesn’t mean I’m not wholly interested in what students across the Wasatch Front are learning, thinking and doing. And not only the students I teach but also those whose productions I regularly attend. I am so interested, in fact, that the next journal out this fall will be centered around issues in dance education on a more broad scale.
So tonight I couldn’t help myself and wrote an imaginary manifesto based on the student works I’ve seen at the University of Utah over the past two weekends. This manifesto is based on nothing other than my experience as their audience and what I’m guessing they are telling me through their choreography. I don’t really know if it’s true, or if that matters, I only know that their interests reflect to me what mine once were and how they have changed. Imagining myself in their choreographic pathways is interesting and I wanted to share it.
an imaginary manifesto of 2012 bfa graduates:
We are not interested in revealing any direct premise. Instead, we are interested in how moving together forms it’s own premise(s).
Ambient music is a choice we make not because we like it but because it gives us ample freedoms. Anything can happen once it is on.
If the generation before us was interested in irony we are interested in sincerity.
We are modeling our dances after dances we think are great or inspirational. It is our reminder of what it’s like to dance even while sitting in the seat of choreographer.
We experience that everyone around us has huge expectations for our work but simultaneously hasn’t told us much about what we should do.
Physical prowess is how we identify that we will exist outside of this place even if people around us tell us dance is dying.
We don’t really know a lot about Ruth St. Denis. And you know what? We don’t care.
We imagine that everyone should care about dance as much as we do.
It is the physical act of moving together that we appreciate. And whether moving together forms a career or not — whether moving together forms notoriety or not — whether moving together is a luxury we will have or not — whether or not, it is through moving together that we map ourselves and you find us on a stage before you.