Director’s Statement

by Laura Gorenstein Miller

Movement is my language. I am interested in dances that bend the body in surprising directions and suggest to the mind that emotions are intelligent. I pay close attention to the human body as a filter for sensation and experience in daily life. A model snakes her hips down a catwalk, a pitcher winds up for a curve-ball, a young girl shakes off the feeling of being watched; images like these stay in my mind and show up in my dances. Movement exists in all of us, and I believe it can be a powerful expression of strength and transformation.

When I choreograph I am in a thrill-seeking state, searching for those moments when the movement catches my breath and opens my eyes wide. I push my choreography around in the studio, asking for choices in unlikely places, for shapes I didn’t know existed to slowly emerge. I use familiar gestures, rhythms and archetypes and try to overturn their meaning by playing with how they are perceived. My vocabulary encompasses classical ballet and modern steps, pedestrian gestures, gravity-oriented moves that fall, arc and ascend through space, and specific emotional images which flicker across the face and body. Throughout my process I am seeking to create a unique movement language.

Above all, I want to communicate through my dances. From direct physical narrative where the dancers pantomime their stories, to the abstract composition of bodies in motion, the dancing body is brilliant at conveying emotion. In my choreography I practice being attentive to what the body can say. The extreme arching of a dancer’s back could resonate as waking up and stretching, recoiling in fear, preparation for attack, and on and on. When I find meaning in motion, I am in my choreographic element and in these moments a new dance is realized.

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