Last week, Boston Ballet hosted its first-ever Choreographic Intensive in Marblehead, MA. Student Leah Hirsch has been blogging daily from the Intensive for Pointe. Read Leah’s earlier entries here, here, here and here!
I came into this program filled with doubts about how I would adapt to new surroundings and new dance styles. Unversed in contemporary work and choreography, I feared failing. Now, however, as I sit here with the performance complete, I realize that I am not the only one who has grown. In each of my fellow students, I see an immense improvement. We all have boundaries, but those must be broken—or at least challenged. I remember watching our first combined rehearsal and being completely focused on my fellow budding choreographers’ work. What I have seen this past week proves to me that Helen Pickett and Thaddeus Davis brought out completely unknown facets of our personalities. Their strong instruction, insight and unflagging encouragement renewed our collective confidence and sewed the seeds of a maturity we would not have otherwise known. Our snippets of choreography developed from rudimentary, unembellished steps to phrases with tension, intimacy and fluidity. Each of us has found a more complete awareness of our bodies.
My partner Laura and I created a collaborative work using phrases from both Ms. Pickett and Mr. Davis. Together, we took a leap of faith, danced without judgment, added a personal touch and went to the edge of our physicalities. We paid homage to the classicism that is so often stressed in ballet class in our selection of Bach’s Cello Suite as our backdrop. Although we delved into unknown waters, we still had a piece of home. I have found my way throughout the once unknown, winding streets of Marblehead.
Thank you so much to Helen Pickett, Thaddeus Davis, and the staff of Boston Ballet who helped make this inaugural Choreographic Intensive an absolute success. I had a fabulous week!