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Paper Crane Gang

Music: Daedalus and Hans Otte
Lighting: Burke J. Wilmore
Costumes: Gregory Dolbashian

This piece is full of firsts for me. It is the first time I have been enable to incorporate live speaking from the dancers, the first time I have really tried to expand my movement vocabulary. The first time I have been able to successfully create a fully improvised section, and the first time I have been able to use a prop. It was also the first time that I had very little premeditated in terms of movement before we rehearsed. It was a much more collaborative process, working in the moment with my dancers, and I loved the result it gave me. We talked so much about the importance of putting your concentration on the preparation of something as opposed to its result. The motive being that if your approach is flawless; your result will be exactly what you want from yourself. If you skip that approach and try to go head on into the result, that is when we become confused and disappointed about how we are achieving. My idea for the dance came from a form of Japanese floral arranging and pruning. The point of interest for me being that each flower is independently planted and then after they have all gotten their roots down, they are cut in a way so that each can grow fluidly and fully in around each other. I thought this was a tremendous metaphor for one’s maturation process in life. I also thought with this delicate idea of flowers and their aesthetic, it would be very great to examine that with an all-male cast dancing and see if we could find that same sensitivity within strong, hard physicality. I fused those principles with this idea of a fraternity, a gang, and the bonds and rituals and dangers that come with that kind of life. It made for a most rewarding and exciting process.

First Premiere: November 2008, Reverb Festival, Ailey Theater