Updated: Jun 30, 2021
I think there's value in exploring the things you fear. Like zombies. It's important to face your fear of zombies.
But, seriously. I often do this with character work, trying on my fears like a suit. Whether it's through acting, dance, or another medium, this investigation brings the fear into my cells where I can poke it, prod it, roll it around, wonder at it, relate to it, shine some light, and ultimately embrace the thing that seems so frightening. When I'm done, I step out, step back and observe the thing from a distance. From that vantage point, it almost never seems so scary. I recognize my fear as something inside of me, not apart.
I enjoy using this blog to document the process behind a piece. It gives me a place to put all the videos that capture the stages of development and any inspirations that influenced the choreography.
This song first landed on my radar several years ago. It was fierce and scary and unexpected-all the things I love to hear in a song. It also intimidated me. I watched and rewatched Galen Hooks choreography and filed the song away on my "New Choreo Wishlist Playlist", waiting for a time when I could psych myself up enough to try it. Every once in awhile I'd feel up to it, I'd pull the song out, play with it for a couple weeks, and then put it away again. I never felt like the movement was quite "it."
Finally, in February of 2020, I filmed this.
It was the first time that I felt like the movement matched the song and the choreo incorporated all the elements I'd been trying to tie together.
Two weeks after this the COVID shut down started and the studio, along with everything else, closed.
There I was at home- no apparatus, nothing to do, and a whole lot of worrying to move through. This is when I really started investigating how to translate choreography across "apparatus." I'd initially built this piece for pole, but why couldn't I do it on, say, a chair? Or a couch? Or with nothing at all. So that's what I did.
This process was a relief. It reminded me that I didn't need apparatus to build pieces that I enjoyed dancing. This was especially important during a time where I didn't have access to any apparatus.
Almost a year later, in January, once the studio had opened again and classes were back on the schedule, I came back to the original pole choreography.
These classes gave me a place to polish and practice the choreography and to learn how to teach it.
4 months after teaching this in weekly classes, I hosted a Quick & Dirty On-Camera Pole Choreography workshop. The premise of the workshop is to put a piece of choreography together in one evening. We spent 2 hours learning the choreo and then JD Gonzalez came in to film it. The video below is the final result :)
Interested in participating in Quick & Dirty On-Camera Pole Choreography?
Visit www.greyceskinner.com for upcoming workshops!
"Bury A Friend"
Produced, Directed, Choreographed by Greyce Skinner
Filmed by JD Gonzalez
@jodogo | @livalittlevideo
Dancers and Choreography Contributors
Alice Zheng, Christina Hobbs, Stefanie Chow, Kyra Scrimgeour
Location provided by Tease Studio Denver
Special thanks to RLK for always reminding me to "enjoy it."