Dance Senior Capstone
ARTIST ENGAGEMENT REFLECTION – MICHAEL HOLLAND
A culminating experience for majors involving a substantive project that demonstrates a synthesis of learning accumulated in the major, including broadly comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and its methodologies.
“The spark for the piece came to me last semester from the piece, Songs of Sanctuary by Amy Ernst, particularly the solo in silence. It reminded me of the greatest lesson I have learned. The significance of silence. Before coming to the University I had never once seen a dance done in silence. Taking this farther, it was the stillness and simplicity of the piece that really blew me away. As a competition dancer I had always been taught to stuff as much material and tricks into as short of time as possible….
To begin choreographing I had an improvisational session with each of them separately which I then recorded. The session involved a variety of instrumental music that had a similar feel I wanted for the piece. The music was meant to help inspire the dancers’ movements and in turn help me create a piece from those movements. To guide the dancers further I gave them some leading terms throughout the session. I used a variety of terms to help them. Some were direct, like asking them to go to the floor, others were more visual, like feeling they were on the crest of a wave. Once done, I stitched different movements together from the two to create the piece, but before I created an outline of what I wanted to happen.
In the end I was very happy what I was able to achieve with the help of Karina and Miranda in the short time we had. I am so thankful for the commitment and willingness of both Karina and Miranda to commit themselves to the piece. If I were to do this again there would only be one change I would make, giving them more time to develop in the piece. Amy also brought up the idea of having the two perform at the same time. A very interesting concept I wish I could’ve worked with. Bandaged could’ve turned into a completely different piece if the idea was given time to experiment with. Either way I achieved my goal on creating a simple yet complex piece that showed the growth I’ve experienced going through the dance program.”