I have finally acquired the video footage of the Student Dance Showcase from this past spring semester. Which means I have recordings of my choreography, finished and performed on-stage, in my possession. It’s amazing – I still can’t get over how proud I am of myself and my dancers.
If you’ve followed along in my posts relating my choreographic process, you will already have a good idea as to what the piece is about. For those of you who have not read those posts, however, I will give a short description of my work.
The piece centers around the Old English poem “The Wanderer.” A modern English poetic translation can be found here (this is the translation found in The Word Exchange, and the one which I used in my choreography). I wanted to create something that would help an audience unfamiliar with Old English to connect in a deeper way with the poem, which is one of my favorites. The movement is meant to stand as an alternate translation, rather than a pantomime re-telling, of the Old English.
I love Old English, but I know that many people don’t know what it is, or are intimidated by its unfamiliarity. I wanted to offer movement as another way to approach the language, and another way to understand the poetry. I believe the “Wanderer” poem especially can offer us something – what it tells us is important. To me, the final lines offer a way to find hope and peace in a world that, as the poet has spent the majority of the work lamenting, can often lack both of those. I don’t know what the audience this past spring took away from my choreography, but I hope that something in the movement and in the poetry stuck with them.
I hope you enjoy.
Til biþ se þe his treowe gehealdeþ, ne sceal næfre his torn to rycene
beorn of his breostum acyþan, nemþe he ær þa bote cunne,
eorl mid elne gefremman. Wel bið þam þe him are seceð,
frofre to Fæder on heofonum, þær us eal seo fæstnung stondeð.
photo by Erik Alberg.