I had a conversation with someone last night in which we were talking about how in the new piece I am creating I am more of a director because the movement is "choreographed" by the dancers. I had an initial strong negative reaction to that statement but didn't know how to present my thoughts in a cohesive and open way at the time so the conversation soon moved away from that topic and I did not bring up my reaction.
As I've continued to process my feelings related to the conversation, I've come to realize that the reason I had such a strong reaction to that statement is because I believe that choreography is more than the development of movement. I also feel that collaboration is incredibly important and can support participation from the community and goes beyond using just technically trained dancers in the work. To me, choreography encompasses much more than making movement that will be part of a performed dance. Choreography is the arranging of movement material, gesture, space, time, pattern, and more, with an eye turned toward the aesthetic.
While I am using a collaborative improvisational process to create movement for the piece the choices related to when, how, why, where, and what remain mine. I may feel more ownership over my work then is necessary which I also need to take time to consider. I am enjoying the collaborative making process but feel a bit wary of issues of ownership that may arise, not necessarily in this current piece, but in the future when I employ collaboration as a tool for the development of new work.
These are just a few of my thoughts as I continue considering my own reactions and feelings related to collaboration, ownership, and the nature of choreography.