Historically ballet has been thought of primarily as a narrative art, and many great story ballets survive in the repertoire today. There is another great tradition in ballet, however, descending from Balanchine and innovators in modern dance, which eschews narrative and works directly through metaphor, symbol and abstraction. In this tradition, dance is a poetic language of the body. Rather than serving as a vehicle for conventional dramas with plots and named characters, this tradition of dance seeks to express the deepest emotional, existential and even spiritual realities through pure movement.
My choreography follows in the path of the second tradition. The primary source of my work is classical ballet, which serves as a foundation upon which to create a new movement vocabulary. Yet, by combining ballet with new thinking about the geometry and rhythm of dance steps, I explore uncharted realms of movement while simultaneously remaining connected to the sensuous sweep of classical dance.
I have developed several principles to guide me when I am making dances. They include:
Move like a blaze of consciousness.
Perfection is the devil.
Express the eroticism of gravity.
On the technical side, my dances are practical experiments in balance. The foot, leg, arm and trunk of the body distribute the energy of movement in new ways. The gestures frequently look improvisatory and feel as if the dancers are creating them for themselves. The unexpected combinations, off-balance motions, breaks, and accelerations all serve to convey emotions and ideas which contribute to the larger symbolic implications of the work.
Ideally my dances create a sense of awe, transporting audiences to a realm where, as in nature, the world feels enormous and the self is small. My goal is that the artful, expressive movement of my dancers will in turn move audiences to contemplate the mystery of their own lives.
There are forces that move us which we understand; others which we don’t. My dances are combinations of both. The ultimate purpose in bringing together such forces is to create beautiful and symbolically meaningful movement that quickens our sense of the world.