Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Finding Comfort in Chaos

CORE explores The Moment Between

In the world of dance, motion heals. Stillness can reign, but dance channels emotions through movements that have a purpose. Centering accompanies plies. Swooshing arms symbolize acceptance. A rigid point illustrates surety. This is how dancers talk with their bodies.

Jhon Stronks gets this, and it may be the key to what makes him such a vivid choreographer. Stronks, a Houston resident, has been working with CORE Founder and Artistic Director Sue Schroeder to piece together the company’s upcoming performance, to be held in Decatur High School’s Performing Arts Theater September 17 and 18. Inspired by Buddhist notions of emptiness and author William Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies, Stronk’s The Moment Between will be integrated into Schroeder’s larger work, The Point. The works will be performed free for the Decatur community this weekend in celebration of CORE’s 25th season in the city. Music for both pieces was created by German composer, Christian Meyer.

“Dancers have to learn how to work in congress with one another to be united with what’s happening,” Stronk says. In The Moment Between, he wants company members to move as a group, but hopes to document their motivations and growth as individual artists, too. “We’re processing what keeps each dancer centered,” he says. “When I see the dancers perform this work, I know what I’m seeing is the result of the process, how much affinity they have for it, how much they’ve actually engaged with the process and how much consistency they have in their movements.”

The process Stronks speaks of is an individual’s ability to examine and accept life’s flow and those unexpected situations which arise for all of us. How, he wonders, do people react to those moments when everything is unclear and unsure and they lack control over the events in their lives? Are they able to empty themselves of their anxieties and fear through employing various degrees of movement and stillness? “It’s that reaction which makes all the difference, and the way it plays out is a little different for each dancer,” Stronks says.

“When their movements become clearer it shows how much of the work they’ve done,” he adds. “Have they been able to ask “what is this thing that I have to let go of?” Having a relationship with the unknown is about being alive in that place…it’s a very vulnerable place to be in, especially in the West.
When confronted with The Moment Between, you have to go with the flow, and allow it to flow through you.”

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