At the beginning of this semester I wrote my personal movement attention:
When I’m watching movement, the first things I notice are (a) if the movement looks natural and (b) if the movement looks like anything I do or could see myself doing. A lot of my journey as an artist at this stage has to do with me figuring out what makes me unique as a mover so I find myself searching for those nuances that make other people stand out in their movement. What I pay attention to when I watch movement really depends on the situation or environment.
When I’m watching movement in a learning environment, I focus most on how the teacher is doing the movement for replication purposes. I’m trying to get out of the habit of trying to be someone else when I move, but when I learn movement I try to do it how it’s shown first and foremost. I’m a very “in my head” and technical dancer, I’m always thinking about doing the steps correctly instead of just going for them. I enjoy watching my peers do the movement just to see how they interpret the movement given and to see who makes it their own and who just tries to get it right. I’m starting to get better at trusting myself and putting myself in the movement more quickly instead of just focusing on the top layer–the steps.
When I’m watching movement in a choreographic setting, for example in composition, I’m really interested to see how people interpret the instructions or just how each individual dances. OSU has such a very diverse collection of dancers in the program and I love watching to see how each dancer is working to make their movement their own and owning it. I watch to see who’s doing steps, and who’s dancing. I watch to see who’s trying or thinking too much, and who’s just letting their body flow.
When I’m generating movement, I try to just do what’s natural to me. I don’t know my personal movement aesthetic yet, but I’m starting to pick up on what it is. One of the things I love most about comp class is getting feedback because outside eyes help me figure out what my comfort zone is. As of late, when I’m trying to come up with something I pick a beginning point and let my uncertainty guide me through the rest of it.
I think the most intriguing thing to watch about dance is seeing the individualism or sometimes lack thereof. It isn’t about the steps that are being executed, it’s the way they are being done. At this point in my artistic journey I’m not worried about the tricks or doing something better than the next, I’m focusing on how I can make something my own, and that’s what I watch for in all movement.