Friday, February 22, 2013

Dancer, A Documentary, by Alyssa Tolman

I always really like talking about my talented friends.
Well, get to know this girl: Alyssa Tolman.
Alyssa, I stole this photo off of facebook. Don't be mad.
She is an extremely talented, extremely hilarious lady. Please check out the video below, a mockumentary she wrote, directed, shot, and edited: Dancer, A Documentary.
Tolman is a hottie dancer herself, a fellow graduate student at the University of Utah, so her inside take on the dance world (more specifically, ballet vs. modern) in this tongue-in-cheek mockumentary is well-played, poignant, and, of course, very funny.

Dancer, A Documentary
(starring Jamie Myers as the Modern Dancer and Hannah Bowcutt as the ballerina... watch for my cameo as obnoxious vegan. I'm faaaaaaaaaaaaamous.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I am a work of fiction. (Photos from my Thesis Piece)

I am a work of fiction. (2012)
Choreographer: Claire Valene Bagley Hayes

This piece is one-thousand piece jig saw puzzle.  It is the collection of moments, a mélange of details, a gallimaufry, pastiche, a mixed-bag of people, places, and things that when fit together form the soul/body/breadth of a singular person's reality. This piece is my montage of non-fiction battling fiction, reality vs. fantasy, my circus, my mess, my party.”

Dancers: McKenzie Barkdull, Laura Brick, Christine Crepeau, Laura Gumbrecht, Gretchen Huff, Kylie Lloyd, Samantha Matsukawa
Music: Andrew Bird, Cat Power, Dan Deacon, Edith Piaf, Emily Wells, Jacques Dutronc
Hair and Makeup: Rachel Clark, and Relik Salon
Lighting: Alyssa Tolman
Costumes: My closet. My dancers' closets. Decades, in SLC, a place I wish was my closet.

I would like to thank my splendid dancers for their stories, their timelines, their pieces to this puzzle. They have made my job easy. These ladies will probably take over the world someday. . . they have both the looks and brains. I love each one of them. Dear Committee, thank you for your valuable feedback and support! Is it cliched to say that I couldn't have done it with out you? There. I said it anyways.

I will post a video later/soon/as soon as I get it. I need to thank the most excellent photographer, Alyssa Tolman, of the blog The Happy Pear, for her awesome Dress Rehearsal photo shoot. These photos make me remember the magic all the more. It's hard to shoot a staged modern piece, and I am so very grateful for her glorious artist eye.

I personally feel that “I am a work of fiction.” displays a new height in maturity for myself as a choreographer.  If I could critique my own piece with fairness, which I find hard, as it is my creative baby, I would say that, to me, it was and is a successful and entertaining piece.  Not only does it portray emotional depth, but it carries forward its narrative with aplomb.  It contains a sense of childlike wonderment, while exploring various sensibilities of beauty, femininity, and a touch of darkness brought forth in irony.  Yes, this piece has its imperfections, and yes, not everyone will enjoy watching it half as much as I did.  But to me, I have created something that I can be proud of.