What We Feel and What We Mean
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Category — Dance

“Meet the Artist: Miguel Gutierrez”

This past Monday, I attended the “Meet the Artist” event at Macaulay with Miguel Gutierrez. I was interested in hearing Gutierrez speak about his background in contemporary dance. He began the evening by having the students sit in a circle and close their eyes. Then, he read aloud questions relating to where we were, the surroundings, and the emotions of day. Upon opening our eyes, we discovered Gutierrez in the center of the room, performing an improvisational dance routine. This dance continued with many vocalizations, as well as audience interactions. He moved throughout the room in a series of leaps, turns, and rolls. Some students laughed at the unfamiliarity and others sat in confusion.

The evening continued with a viewing of Gutierrez’ work. One particular solo piece showed the classical movements related to several other choreographers. Gutierrez explained the meaning behind this piece, as it was composed during a time of conflict in his life. Gutierrez piece incorporated the styles of famous 80s choreographers, while blending in his own artistic creations.  He struggled with idea of originality and how it is expressed in dance. This reminded me of the previous class discussion we had on Sherrie Levine’s work (the re-photographing of Edward Weston’s photo) and how art can be created from other art. During the Question & Answer session, Gutierrez addressed the laughter of the students by noting that it is a typical reaction to unknown and new circumstances. He did not consider it an inappropriate reaction and said that it did not affect his performance. Gutierrez concluded his discussion with the question: “what is contemporary dance?” Several suggestions included: “less structured than ballet,” “freeing,” and “emotional.” I think these components contribute greatly to the definition of “contemporary dance.” I believe it is a very individual experience that is directly related to each dancer’s emotions. Overall, the event gave an interesting perspective of choreography as an art form.

October 21, 2011   No Comments

Harvey Edwards Ballet Photography

This photograph by Harvey Edwards can be found in nearly every dance studio or rehearsal room. The work is entitled “Leg-Warmers,” and it shows a dancer in a soft plie position, wearing a pair of tattered and torn legwarmers. A print of this image hangs on the wall of the dance studio that I attended for the past eight years. The beauty in this piece lies in the idea of the dedication and determination that has created this distressed image. All the beautiful work this dancer has performed throughout the rehearsals is captured in this one picture. To some, this image may appear as a simple picture of a dance rehearsal, but the true beauty can be found in the dedication and passion demonstrated by this dancer.

You can find more photography by Harvey Edwards at       http://harveyedwards.com/

September 20, 2011   1 Comment

Contemporary Dance

I saw this piece on the dancing competition “So You Think You Can Dance.” While there are many routines on this show that are very emotional, this is one of the few where I actually felt the emotions of the dancers. The choreographer designed this piece especially for his mother who went through surgery and health problems. The dancer also relates to this piece because it is something that he went through in his life. My favorite part in when the female dancers moves her feet on top of the male dancer’s feet at the end. He is taking her weight and her life and moving it through. I think this embodies so many people that try to be there for a loved one when they are going through something hard in their life. I find it beautiful because it hits you even if your mother or any other loved one isn’t going through a hard time.

-Aniqa Bari

September 16, 2011   No Comments