A Female Perspective
Blog Post #2 – A Female Perspective
I ran into a friend and former colleague at a COVID vaccine clinic recently. We were both Artist Instructors at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. She said: “I miss seeing your work. It was so thought provoking and feminine.” Feminine. I remember early on in my career as a choreographer that female choreographers were often not chosen to choreograph. It was said we women didn’t know how to choreograph on men, that the choreography was too feminine. My response to that is bullshi!. My job as a choreographer is to watch how people move. How people interact both on a physical and personal level.
Male energy. Male energy is indeed different than female energy. Our bodies are different muscularly as well. Not that we don't share similarities but that is not the point of this blog. As a dancer I loved challenging myself to keep up with the men in dance class, on the soccer field, in anything really. When I took ballet class in New York with Marjorie Mussman and Douglas Boulivar (alongside dancers from NYC Ballet and Mark Morris Dance Group I might add!) my leaps were just as long and high as many of the men in class. Grand Allegro was my favorite part of ballet class. In contemporary/modern partnering I never shied away from trying to lift a man or a woman. If the physics are right it can be done.
In the video below, I share with you some examples of partnering and energy. The performance also includes an on stage "oops." We recovered quickly.
Dancers: Douglas Boulivar, Orion Duckstein, Laura Martin, Bonnie Passaro, Sonia Plumb
Choreography: Sonia Plumb
I choreograph about life and life is full of multiple sexes – I am hereby acknowledging bi-, transgender and asexual in addition to heterosexual and homosexual. I have been honored to have male dancers “come out” to me, when coming out was the step taken to claim oneself to the world and to own oneself. I digress perhaps, but no. We are still talking about men and women here in the dance world. The X and Y chromosomes.
So, I will end this blog with the statement that my female perspective is a very important part of making dances. I like working with both men and women. I like choreographing on them. I like dancing with them. It makes life and art interesting.