FALL 2018

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Choreographing 'Home'
Posted 01/08/2019 11:04AM

My Experience Collaboratively Creating the January 17–19 Dance Concert Home: The Monsters We Run From, the Refuge We Seek

By Katie Rose Kimball, Class of 2019

Every dance concert is a culmination of many artistic processes, patched and threaded together into an epic mosaic of experience, ideas, and connections. Each choreographer and dancer can trace their own emotional story through the development of the program, if only because the process takes months to complete.

Coming out of the last summer of high school, I found myself thinking about the habits I had formed to structure summer days—drinking morning tea, eating questionable meals, redesigning my room—and my relationship with routines as a whole, whether they were mind-numbing, comforting, or something in between. When I was presented with the tagline of this year's concert—Home: The Monsters We Run From, the Refuge We Seek—I found myself with the perfect avenue to explore my questions about routine.

To create my dance, I settled into a cyclical process of choice, inspiration, and response. For instance, I chose music with layers of repetition to reflect how routines build on top of each other. When I was considering one potential song, another dancer casually commented that it sounded like a morning alarm. That comment propelled me to build the storyline of my dance around morning routines. This choice led to more deliberate decisions like having one dancer make a cup of tea while the rest slept. And so it went until I had filled the whole three minutes of music.

One of the hardest parts of the process was struggling with the vulnerability that comes with asking someone else to perform your art. When I teach a dance to another person, it's as if I'm painting a piece on wood and metal and cloth that was intended for a blank canvas. The general strokes of what I'm trying to convey transfer easily, but each individual's performance has different details and a different underlying tone. Yet, this transformation also allows me to see my ideas in a way I never can when they're caught inside my own mind. I'm forced to face that which I was trying to avoid, and I discover comfort in places I'd never thought to look.

I find myself creating a little piece of Home.

Looking around, I see each person in the dance company looking to find this piece of home, whether that's by asking what it means to be a refugee, examining our relationship with technology, exploring a child's imagination, or revealing our underlying dread of deadlines. This year's dance concert brings together a unique collection of voices that are ready to welcome you into their home.

Join us 7 pm January 17–19, 2019, in the Larimer Center for the Performing Arts. Suggested donations: $5 for students and $10 for adults. Free for faculty and staff and kids age six and under.

Upper schooler dancers in rehearsal.

One student-dancer's experience collaboratively creating the January 17–19 concert "The Monsters We Run From, the Refuge We Seek."
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Susan Swidnicki has a hectic schedule, and she loves it. There's nothing she finds more rewarding than teaching young children to find their singing voice and instilling in them a lifelong love of music. A professional oboist with the Ballet West Orchestra, Susan advocates for high-quality music education in all schools. Lucky for Rowland Hall, we have her starting our Beginning School students on their musical journeys.
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Our young writers who staffed the 2014-2015 edition of "Tesserae" literary magazine can say they've interviewed a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. On Monday, April 16, the Pulitzer board awarded Frank Bidart their poetry prize for "Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016." Mr. Bidart visited Rowland Hall in fall 2014, and students published their interview with the celebrated writer in "Tesserae" Volume 10.
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