June 18, 2014
Elizabeth is the Co-Owner/Director of FineLine Theatre Arts, New Milford, CT. Highly acclaimed in ballet, modern, and jazz styles, Ms. Parkinson has performed worldwide with The Joffrey Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, and Twyla Tharp. In 1999 she was received tremendous notice in the Broadway show Fosse and in 2003 the Broadway hit Movin’ Out, where she earned the 2003 Tony Award nomination and the Astaire Award for best female dancer on Broadway. She is also currently an adjunct professor of theatre dance at Western Connecticut State University.
Consenses Interview with Sally Taylor:
Where you came from: I was born in St. Petersburg Florida
Your Medium: Dance
The name of your work: A Simple Dance
What made you want to participate in this project?
I am always up for a creative task! After meeting Sally at the Vineyard I was happy to engage in her process. I am also finding my choreographic voice and this is one more step in that direction!
Without going back to listen to the song what do you remember about it?
The music felt simple and distilled to me. Like the beginnings of a day. The first steps you take getting out of bed.
What was your first reaction to the song? (thoughts, emotions, memories, tastes, smells etc?) and what did you want to create right away as a result?
The song felt peaceful and quiet. It made me think of walking and moving through sand, early in the morning. Fresh air, warm coffee. Happiness. Simple times.
What emotion did the music elicit?
The music made me feel calm and at peace with a sense of motivation.
What was the music about in your mind? (Did it tell a story? Who was wearing it? Etc.)
The music told me the story of waking up in the morning. that was my immediate picture in my head. the first step out of bed….walking to the kitchen…..coffee……standing outside the door and breathing in fresh country air….feeling the grass in my toes…..getting dressed, going to work……but with no stress or cares!
Take me through each step of your process from getting the song to the creation of your dance.
I was excited to get the song and felt nervous that I would have to create something in such a short time. I immediately gave myself permission to let my fears go and just let the process take me anywhere. I sensed that perhaps this might be a better way for me to work….less time to get bogged down in things that don’t matter. I was excited to get to the essence quickly and not second guess myself. What ever I felt immediately I was going to follow. I listened to the song repeatedly over and over again for a few days. I listened to it at home in the context of how the song made me feel and what images came into my mind. I realized quickly that I wanted to improvise the dance rather than create a concise set of steps so I decided to create a vocabulary of steps that I would use but not put them in a definite order. I also decided that I wanted the dance to be seen as a piece of video rather than a dance that would be viewed live. If the medium of how the dance is viewed is not taken into consideration then I felt the piece would not be seen properly. Every thing is lost in video unless the creator knows that video is the canvass. I spent a couple of days improving before the video was taken just to feel the music repeatedly. I directed the videographer to take lots of different angles and to also take some footage of just parts of the body and to shoot from many different angles. My immediate vision from the beginning was that it would just start with feet. After we shot all the footage and watched it I actually handed over
the editing to the videographer. when it was finished I then looked at it and loved what I saw! I like to collaborate and let someone else into my process and this was the perfect way to do that. I particularly loved the use of video in reverse!
What did you title your work and why?
A Simple Dance……this was my first thought mostly to take the pressure off of myself to make something complicated and ‘clever.’
What part of your dance came to you first?
The beginning of just the feet.
How do you normally create? How was this experience different?
Normally I listen to music forever!! I change things a lot and play around. I struggle. this time I did not give myself the time to struggle!!
What techniques/tools did you use to help you express you’re interpretation?
I relied on improvisation more in this project. I also visualized how the dance would look and feel.
Are there certain choices you made which mean something specific to you that the observer might not know?
Not that i can think of.
Extra credit: Did you enjoy this project?
YES!!!!!! More Please!!!