Velocity Creative Process Blog Series with Kaja Irwin
In this series we will follow the creative process of DJD company dancer Kaja Irwin for her piece in the upcoming Dancer Choreographed show Velocity. Velocity is on stage at the DJD Dance Centre from November 16-26, 2017.
September 17, 2017 – Revealing the Chimera
First rehearsal. The seed of an idea finally starts to take shape on bodies instead of just inside my mind. To choose where to begin can always be a struggle. I have an inspirational image that is extreme in both shape and meaning. I have to make the choice to either mimic the visual inspiration or use the idea of a chimera and develop something more abstract. During our first rehearsal, I experimented with both paths. I started with creating a singular being made up of four bodies, but since it’s still experimentation time, I would prefer not to set anything. I also explored an abstract path by taking the chimera shape and investigating moving backwards from it. What happens before the beast manifests? What happens before that? This is how the idea of four separate entities turning into the singular chimera developed. Next rehearsal I hope to delve into these ideas further and see what else can be explored before the full chimera image is revealed. Who are these separate beings and why do they come together as one?
SEPTEMBER 26, 2017
The second rehearsal was very exciting. After listening to the music more, a loose storyline revealed itself to me. I found this helpful as there needs to be some sort of obstacle to overcome/ a reason for the chimera move. Uncovering the journey of the chimera allowed me to decide how to proceed with the shape of the dance. Secondly, I scrapped my initial shape of 4-person chimera because it looked too symmetrical and reminded me of an actual animal; I wanted to develop something a little bit more far out. I had my four dancers pair up and make different multi headed beasts that could travel around the space. From there, I mixed and matched to find different permutations of 2 person beasts, which ultimately created the most exciting chimera shape. I feel that rehearsal was a success.
octoBER 3, 2017
During this week’s rehearsal I came across the issue of how the chimera moves. Since I have made the beast out of two partner shapes, I struggled to find a way to make the chimera move as one animal versus it moving as two separate pieces. We experimented with moving sideways, backwards and forwards. Forwards seemed to be the most successful but I think it will take some more experimentation for it to really read as a single animal. I’m looking forward to my next rehearsal when I will start playing with how the beast turns on itself and what it means to have 4 different minds in the same “body” working with and against itself. I have found two descriptive phrases about the chimera that I love, “child of chaotic powers” and “infinite horizons of fantasy”. I want to continue to work with both of these ideas in mind to see where the chimera and its story will take me!