Rite (2012, 2013)

This choreography centers around the concept of one’s coming of age.  The thin, practically invisible line that is drawn to separate adolescence and adulthood.  The precarious time when a person is likely not fully one, nor the other, but somehow both.  The transition that happens can be instantaneous, or gradual.  It can be drastic, or almost unnoticed.  It speaks of a difficult or awkward and perplexing time in one’s life.  Ironically, the choreography itself was very difficult.  It did not flow easily or naturally, but in starts and fits, and required many times of wiping the slate clean and restarting afresh.  Ah, puberty.

In indigenous and tribal cultures, coming of age is often marked by a ceremony.  An initiation, led by a spiritual facilitator.  An elder or shaman or wise figure.  In doing research for this piece, I was largely dissatisfied with contemporary coming of age ceremonies for girls like Latin American Quinceañeras, Phillipine debuts, Japan’s seijin shiki – where initiates gather in a government building to listen to speeches, Korea’s 3rd Monday of May “coming of age day” where girls are gifted with flowers, perfume, and a kiss, and the United States’ Sweet Sixteen parties.  This choreography is my imagined version of a girl’s coming of age ceremony that hearkens back to simpler, more meaningful primal rites.

I would be remiss if I failed to make mention that I was very cognizant of the 100th year anniversary of Nijinsky & Stravinsky’s revolutionary “Rite of Spring” happening while I was working on this piece.