A New Choreographer's Leap of Faith

This week, Boston Ballet hosts its first-ever Choreographic Intensive in Marblehead, MA. Student Leah Hirsch will be blogging daily from the Intensive for Pointe. Stay tuned for more entries!

 

As I drove out of Boston yesterday, past the prim and proper Newbury Street and into the convoluted paths of Marblehead, a thought suddenly took hold: what a perfect place to hold Boston Ballet's first Choreographic Intensive! The circular movements of the upper body found in contemporary dance parallel the physical location of the program. Each plays with the idea of transformation, movement, and interest.

I also realized that although the Marblehead lighthouse, fishing boats, and beaches aren't beautiful in the traditional sense, the amalgamation of these items in one location is beautiful. This is evident in contemporary choreography as well. Not everyone sees the movements of contemporary dance as aesthetically pleasing, but each position, each shift from one pose to the next, communicates something important, something significant to the choreographer, dancer, and—hopefully—the audience.

My name is Leah Hirsch, and I have been a student of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for the past five years. (This coming year I will be taking classes at the Pennsylvania Ballet while also attending University of Pennsylvania part-time.) When the opportunity arose to attend Boston Ballet's Choreographic Intensive, I was thrilled at the prospect of delving into contemporary work—and also, honestly, frightened. I have attended thousands of classical ballet classes at CPYB but have never truly experienced a contemporary class. Sitting here on Sunday, the day before the program officially begins, my mind is swirling with thoughts of uncertainty. However, I enjoy the fact that I am taking a leap of faith and stepping out of my comfort zone. I can't wait to work with such esteemed choreographers as Helen Pickett and Thaddeus Davis; to immerse myself in Forsythe technique; and to develop my choreographic skills. I believe that by both creating and dancing, I will walk away from this program with a greater contemporary knowledge learned through a complete mind/body connection. Sometimes non-traditional beauty is the most stunning of all.