Exploring Matthew Neenan’s Creation Process for “Identity Without Attribute”
Today, I had an opportunity to sit in on a BalletX rehearsal for their Summer Series 2016. The rehearsal I observed was for Matthew Neenan’s world premiere piece for the Summer Series. The piece is currently untitled, and will feature a video installation interjected into the movement via the Klip Collective. Neenan drew his inspiration for the piece after reading the manuscripts of a dear friend who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Alongside Neenan’s piece for the series is a piece choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, which will also have its world premiere.
The piece utilizes all ten members of the company, but the section I observed primarily consisted of seamlessly interwoven solos, duets, and trios. As Neenan rehearsed different small sections, the other dancers kept busy by practicing difficult movements or phrases from other sections of the piece. The choreography featured much repetition, including a memorable swaying movement that recurred throughout the piece. There were also large, sweeping arms and legs that alternated with precise, intricate footwork and head movements. The choreography that I observed juxtaposed delicacy and stiff or strained body parts. I noticed an emphasis on the hands and fingers, which is consistent with Neenan’s past work.
The complexity of the choreography of this work in progress will prove to be truly captivating. In the Summer Series, Neenan will be exposing the audience to a unique and unforgettable work of art.
– Mariette Aungst, Intern