Ask a dancer to walk into an art museum, and you might not ever get them out. What is even more likely to happen is that dancer will walk in, see a painting, and that walk will turn into a dance. There is a connection between still and live art, and Still Inspired(?): Connections is an evening of dance that explores that connection. Four choreographers each select a piece of art from a Chicago based visual artist to serve as the inspiration for a new choreographic work. Now in its fourth season of production, Still Inspired(?): Connections presents an evening of dance exploring the work of Sergio Gomez. For producer and presenting choreographer, Laura Thurston, the visual impact of Gomez’s work led her on a choreographic journey that led to reflections on her life and those of her cast of dancers. Join DancerMusic’s Kristi Licera as we PRE-View the premiere of Laura’s upcoming work, Debate:
Kristi: Tell us about the painting you selected from Sergio Gomez. What initially drew you to it, and how did the artwork inform or inspire your choreography?
Laura: Sergio’s acrylic painting on canvas titled Subconscious Conversations from 2014 is the inspiration for my work, titled Debate. I was initially drawn to the work for two reasons; The first was the visual of two subjects within one figure, and the second, the painting’s rich, deep red and orange coloring. While looking at the vast possibilities of his many works, this one kept returning to me because it initially stood out as different.
My personal life currently feels like a constant, inner debate. The deep coloring in Gomez’s Subconscious Conversations connected me to all the anxious, uneasy, and unanswered inner arguments.
When I saw title of the work, Subconscious Conversations, I felt immediately connected to the subject matter. My mind was made up. One’s inner voice and its back-and-forth excited me to explore a dance duet. My personal life currently feels like a constant, inner debate. The deep coloring in Gomez’s Subconscious Conversations connected me to all the anxious, uneasy, and unanswered inner arguments. Communicating my inner dialogue with dancers Sabriah Floberg and Irina Goldman, as well as hearing each of their inner battles served as the jumping off point for choreography in our first rehearsal. Drawing from numerous stories from the three of us, the piece Debate was created. Floberg and Goldman were also movement contributors.
Communicating my inner dialogue with dancers Sabriah Floberg and Irina Goldman, as well as hearing each of their inner battles served as the jumping off point for choreography in our first rehearsal.
Kristi: Was there a moment in your process where you hit a creative block? If so, what sources of inspiration did you use to help re-kindle your creativity?
This work came together more fluidly and seamlessly than choreography has in my past. Because it is so personal, the possibilities kept coming. I was lucky to work with Floberg and Goldman, who were open to sharing their stories. They therefore willingly connected to the piece and its process. There was, however an entire rehearsal day that presented a huge obstacle in moving forward with choreography. Luckily, this obstacle seemed fitting with the subject matter, and ended up serving as a source of inspiration to move forward!
I am looking forward to presenting this piece in Still Inspired(?): Connections and sharing our personal experiences with a live audience. I am also grateful for the opportunity to create dance inspired by the talented artist, Sergio Gomez.
See Still Inspired(?): Connections at Dovetail Studios, 2853 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, at 7:30pm on both Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3. Tickets will be available at the door or purchase in advance at Brown Paper Tickets. To learn more about the production and the artists, visit www.stillinspireddance.com.