Dancing In The Kitchen

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. Read Leah's first entry here, and stay tuned for more!

 

Sometimes the most non-traditional environments can provide the best breeding grounds for choreography.  

 

I have performed in a studio, I have performed on stage, I have performed in a gym and I have performed outside, but I have never performed in a kitchen...until today!  Instead of working solely with Helen Pickett, both Mr. Davis and Ms. Pickett thought it would be  beneficial to switch back and forth between the two pre-assigned groups of dancers. Mr. Davis instructed us to choreograph a short piece (with the use of an object) and to not necessarily create the movement in the confinement of the studio. As my group of three women looked around the room, the barres had been taken, the chairs had been taken, and all of the studios were being used. So, we focused our attention on the kitchen outside of Grand Studio A. We saw a microwave, a table, a refrigerator and a coffee pot. What more could a choreographer ask for? On Kitchen Stage, the housewares served as our props. We opened and closed the refrigerator between phrases, turned on the faucet and used the microwave as our music. We completed our final pose to the beep-beep-beep signaling the end of the microwave’s program. Quite comical and maybe a bit too outside of the box, our Kitchen Dance taught us that any setting is viable for choreographic interpretation.   

 

Furthermore, for our homework assignment on Monday, Ms. Pickett instructed us to watch William Forsythe's Synchronous Objects. The dance is chaotic in a seemingly organized way and the computer-generated graphics imposed on the video highlight the choreographic ingenuity. These visual animations give prominence to the mathematical and geometric qualities of the movement. It is truly amazing how such fast and expansive movement, performed by many people at opposing moments, can look so refined. To be learning the technique of such an ingenious and talented man is remarkable. I hope to continue learning and expanding my knowledge of Forsythe's choreography and work process as the week continues!

Latest Posts


Margo Moritz, Courtesy Alonzo King LINES Ballet

How Adult Students Can Prep for a Safe Return to the Studio

After a year (or more) of virtual classes, it's finally time to unplug and head back to the studio.

Exciting? Absolutely. A little scary? Definitely.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Feeling Unchallenged? Here’s How to Advocate for Advancement in Your Company

You're performing well year after year, but you're still not being cast in larger roles. Your work ethic and technique are strong, but, for some reason, your director hasn't approached you about advancing in the company. Many dancers face this very dilemma—they're ready for a new challenge, but featured roles or a promotion don't seem to be on the horizon.

When opportunity doesn't knock first, it may be time to approach the door and do some knocking of your own. "I've been having those conversations with my director since I joined, which is rare," says Amanda Morgan, a fifth-year corps de ballet dancer at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She believes directors are waiting for dancers to advocate for themselves. If you're wondering how you can be more proactive, here are a few questions to help prompt your preparation.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Katie Ging Photography, Courtesy Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh

Why This School Decided to Hold Its "Nutcracker" in June

A growing Christmas tree. Angels and mice. Flowers and a sugarplum. Snow. Last week, the curtain rose on a festive performance of The Nutcracker…in June?

The pandemic has brought all sorts of odd workarounds for dance studios, from virtual classes to outdoor performances. But when COVID-19 threatened Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh's annual Nutcracker, the school decided to make an especially bold pivot: to hold it in early June, when most schools are doing their end-of-year summer recitals.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks