The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance
Love to Hate: A Musing On Process
By: Gregory Dorado
Here at The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance all BFA II students are required to contribute and perform a solo for a two night concert as part of our graduation requirement. A chance for us to really showcase our individual talents as dancers and choreographers. This project, with all its honesty, intensity and pure emotional distillation...... scares the hell out of me...
Let me start by saying that I personally don’t even like solos. Never Have. I don’t like making them, I don’t like performing them, much less my own and I absolutely detest watching them. I can’t tell you how many times I have been totally engaged in an evening length piece of work and then suddenly lost all interest because of a solo. I certainly don’t think it has anything to do with the performers, it’s not that these solos haven’t been executed well, I think it has much more to do with that fact that I find them on an intellectual level masturbatory and self indulgent for the most part.
So here we are, one week away from the concert and how is my solo going? Well, let’s start by saying that I was not without a support system. I was able to bring up my concerns in our composition class where we are being openly guided by faculty member Stephanie Nugent. I found that I was not the only one in my class with this concern and that we were and are having a very shared experience as individual choreographers. It was also suggested to me that I look for a solo, anywhere, that appealed to me in even the slightest way. I have Tiara Jackson’s And Then My Cat Died to thank in a very big way for that one.
So several rehearsals later (mostly involving my laying inert on a studio floor with my face in my hands) and a good healthy amount of collaborative work with film designer Ian Raymond and costume mistress extraordinaire Emily Moran, I have managed to weave together pieces of my life experience, unconscious self wisdom and a whole lot of sweat into what I think is a thoroughly satisfying and powerfully personal 3:24 solo.
Have I changed my mind on how I feel about solo work? I think my Taurian nature might have to remain stubborn on this issue. I have however, through this process, my peers and faculty, gained necessary skills and tools to help me work past these psychological stops in order to do my job as an artist and to do it well. I am truly experiencing the value of my education here at The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance knowing with full confidence that I will leave here with not only the tools for success but the confidence to be successful in my own way.