Dark Corners of the Mind

We all have capacity for lightness and darkness. What we express most in our everyday life is moot in the capacity that we have. Some people choose darkness, expressing it sometimes in private ways. Some express darkness intended for privacy that gets exposed when acts are beyond societal normalcies. Others purposely express their darkness in public ways.

As a choreographer, I often head to dark places. In my daily life I may be considered a little edgy and expressive in my appearance, but playful with some intensity in my daily life. So where does this dark expressivity come from?  I haven’t a straight forward answer.

I have experienced many dark situations in my life. Situations that would haunt your mind for years if the full details were revealed. I have also had dark periods in my life where depression overcame reason. Maybe my expression is my subconscious dealing with my darkness in ways I can’t verbally express? Maybe I am pulling from past memories? I don’t know. I create drastic imagery that can make your hair stand on end. It has happened a few times with my students this semester and it makes me giggle.

Part of my humoured approach to their reaction is it is the reaction I would expect from the audience, not my performers. I have often been in a show where my choreography evoked such reactions in those in the audience. Something as simple as walking straight toward the audience at a slumbered pace. Sometimes simple connections with the audience that are not beaming smiles or charming glances, evoke strange emotions.

I wonder if the performer reveals to the audience when the expected smile and charm are missing in a glance? A revelation so personal that it sends shivers down the spine? Sometimes parts of choreography rehearsed with innocence turn out to be the darkest moments on stage. If you have insight into this emotional provocation, write me as I am curious to understand this better.

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