Nicole Harris: You are building a series of vignettes using four different dancers. Can you talk about who is in each section and what drew you to those people/pairings?
Elyssa Berg: This decision came from watching how people interacted during Musings. I was able to work quite a few times with these ideas and throughout the sessions of Musings I was able to watch the pairings of people, seeing how they interacted with the light and each other. I chose the pairings in this way so that the connections appeared genuine and true to the relationship of the pairings. Nicole and Caleb are a part of the first section in which the feeling of the piece is curious and explorative. The second section includes Elizabeth and Sarah and the feeling is more playful which is very true to the relationship between the two of them and how they move together. The last section is a solo with Elizabeth in which I wanted the feeling to be isolated and contained. Thanks to Musings each decision was made based on how the individuals and their actions inspired me as they brought themselves to the work.
N: You have built this piece very differently than you normally work. Can you talk about the differences (set choreography vs improvisation) and how you are feeling about the process of building improvisationally?
N: You have led a series of Musings (a time for choreographers to play with ideas in a low stakes setting) over the last year in preparation for creating this piece. How have you used Musing time to help get you where you are now? What was something from Musing that was unexpectedly helpful?
EB: Musings have helped me in feeling prepared to create. When you come into rehearsal with a big idea, of something you haven't done before, it can be very intimidating. The most frustrating part of building a new piece can be the trial and error process that you feel you don't have time for. It can feel like a lot of pressure to build something quickly with the resources that you have, feeling like everything you make has to be good. Musings gave me the chance to have all of the trial and error moments that you need before you start setting a work. Since there is no pressure in Musings you can try just about anything. You can go in with a small idea and just see what happens. A lot of unexpected things have happened during Musings that made their way into the piece. With all of this time to weed out the ideas that I didn't need I was able to focus on what I liked and what read the best. It was amazing to see how easy the building process of the pieces was after preparing through Musings.