The title of my piece for Exhalation Dance Theatre’s February 2018 production Kinetic Emotion is “Consume.” It is comprised of four movements and is set to the music of violinist Lindsey Stirling. I was inspired to create this piece when I came to the sad conclusion that I had a true addiction to television, and it was affecting my life in a negative way. I can spend hours in front of my favorite shows as a means of escape, only to realize that when the time has passed that I feel more frantic and stressed than before. All types of media can suck us in, waste our time, give us a false sense of security; really make us feel any emotion we want to feel. It is becoming a lens that warps our reality in whichever way we want it to be; whether positive or negative. I really wanted this to shine through in the choreography.
My movements are untitled, but the first one truly focuses on the television aspect of media. My technology on stage will be created through 3D mapping of images on cubes to represent screens that my dancers will have some interaction with, and this first movement really explores the genres and expansion of our golden age of television and what it has developed into today. Media and tv isn’t always a bad thing! It can be really amazing, and tell us amazing stories with amazing production value that we as consumers are realizing daily.
My second movement digs deeper into the feelings of detachment as a consequence of screen time with the soloist trying to “break free” and connect with those around her. While the third movement explores the feelings of insecurity that everyone feels while exploring the online world of perfection.
My fourth movement is meant to feel overwhelming. I hope the audience feels as if the media is affecting all of their senses at 80 mph. This is what our lives are now. They are fast-paced. We are constantly having advertisements, videos, graphics, and everything else thrown at us constantly and we have to figure out how to navigate the world the way it is. I do think that we consume media continuously; but I also think that if we aren’t careful media will consume us.