Within the Interstice
Interstice: an intervening space, especially a very small one
Choreography: Sarah Hixon
Music: Moonlight Sonata, L. Beethoven
This piece is the result of a long choreographic process exploring the idea that one can use the same raw material (in this case a lexicon of movement) over and over and produce vastly different outcomes. I choreographed a large group work (which can be seen here) and after its production, proceeded to begin a new work using the same movement material.
The material itself was dissected, sometimes to the most minute degree, and basic choreographic tools were used for transformation. Repetition, tempo change, and altered kinesphere created strange mechanical toy-like phrases. The material now looked almost comical. Dancers seemed to throw tantrums and bluntly move objects haphazardly out of their way. The result was a new lexicon, almost unrecognizable to the original piece, and an entirely different concept emerged.
Inspired by this new material, I saw a clear connection to the Theater of the Absurd-- a genre that often portrayed characters caught in hopeless situations, forced to do repetitive or meaningless actions. The dancers are almost entirely focused on themselves and their own needs, and regardless of how much physical or emotional effort they commit to their movement, they ultimately gain nothing. The piece begins and ends in the same place, as though the audience is merely looking in for a brief moment on this endless cycle of futility. Theoretically, the dance could repeat in a loop forever.
After experimenting with, and rejecting, many musical options (including no music at all) I settled on the opening movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, but being played on a toy piano. It seems to me to be the perfect compliment to the dance, at once trivializing the efforts of the dancers and making their world seem small and childish.