Rehearsals for this collaborative pointework piece with choreographer and alum Antonia Brown are winding down as we prepare for our showing of the new piece on Tuesday, May 5th at 2 p.m. in Pembroke Studio at Bryn Mawr College!
Inventions en Pointe brings together two Haverford students and one Haverford alumna in a collaborative choreographic process that seeks to explore the physical boundaries of pointe work and create a duet in four short weeks. The centerpiece of the project involves collaborating with local artist Antonia Z Brown, Class of ’13, an Artist in Residence at Mascher Space Cooperative in Philadelphia. Antonia was a 2012 recipient of the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance Choreographic Residency and was a featured artist in the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Choreographically she is using this project to delve into the contemporary possibilities of ballet en pointe, pushing boundaries of form and motion in movement. The duet is being choreographed on two Haverford students, Aurora Jensen, Class of 2015, and Emma Cohen, Class of 2017.
Our interest in the project stemmed from our drive to take an analytical eye to the limitations of our classical ballet backgrounds and discover our originality and physical capabilities. Classical ballet, particularly en pointe, is rooted in a long tradition of strict rules that require tremendous control, strength and skill to carry out. These are the very rules we intended to challenge. For instance, ballet emphasizes balance, symmetry and posture. Instead we wondered what would happen to pointework if we introduce falling, twisting, and inversion? Another norm in ballet is to build choreography entirely out of a library of classical steps. We were interested in exploring imagery as a source of movement and inspiration. Images such as the curve of a blade of grass or the force of a gust of wind have been invaluable tools in creating new movement through improvisation and exploration. We used ballet as a cornerstone to the piece allwoing the movement to be based on the skill and physical memory already housed within the dancers’ bodies. The piece however uses an imaginative source of inspiration instead of predetermined steps will make it possible to invent new movement and discover a new relationship to the pointe shoe.
Check out Antonia’s instagram to preview what we are working on!
–Aurora Jensen ’15