Las Gravitas (2013)

by Aretha Aoki and Ryan MacDonald
Danspace Project (NY, NY)
Performance: Aretha Aoki
Critic (voice and text): Cassie Peterson

Additional text: Ryan MacDonald, with Aretha Aoki
Sound design: Ryan MacDonald

Las Gravitas is a solo. I wanted to make a solo that turns out to be the opposite of a solo, a solo about everything but me. No matter what I tried, I always came back to myself, my movement, and my body’s limitations and anxieties. While making this piece, I fluctuated between being a dancer who maybe took herself too seriously, a self-critical critic, and a choreographer who was unpredictable, kind of funny, and a little crazy, at least within the expectations she had for a solo. Through a collage way of making and working directly with collaborators, I hope to access and grab a hold of, at least a moment, in the ever-shifting, always changing solo. I read somewhere that a fingernail clipping contains the genetic blueprint of a whole person as well as an entire galaxy. The choreographer in me wants this as well. Wants the piece to expand outward and contract inward. Wants the dancer to do the same. Wants the viewer to lean forward into the space and peek into a hole seeing another galaxy that is strikingly like her own but strangely unfamiliar.

Photos © Alex Escalante, from an early showing of the work at the Movement Research Festival Fall 2012 at Danspace Project, curated by Juliette Mapp and Jen Rosenblit


Photos © Noah’s Photography
From a performance of Las Gravitas at the 2013 Powell Street Festival (Vancouver, B.C.)


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