I recently unpacked some old boxes and in the process came upon a number of videos of choreography I did at Berkeley Ballet Theater and Princeton University. Here is some of what I found.
When I was an undergraduate at Berkeley, I founded Ballet After Work, which was a company of dancers of wide ranging abilities, everything from absolute beginners to semi-professionals.
You can get a sense of the pieces I choreographed for them in these excerpts.
I found some full pieces as well, such as The Film, 1994. The music was created for the piece by the Drew Daniels, who was at the time a fellow Berkeley philosophy major. Look carefully, and you may recognize a now famous Harvard philosopher who was a graduate student at Berkeley at the time. This is from a Ballet After Work performance at the Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley:
I was also a guest choreographer for the Princeton University Dance Program, where I choreographed Cadence and Canescense, 1997. Music: Suite for Violin and Piano by Henry Cowell.
At Princeton, I also created Clocking In, 1997. Music: Les Echanges, by Rolf Liebermann. One of the dancers is Jill Sigman, a Princeton philosophy PhD and director of ThinkDance. The piece is about both the monotonous life of two office workers confined to the same cubicle, clocking in and out, every day of their hum-drum lives, as well as clocks themselves and their mechanical beauty.
Cupiditas Dea, 1994, was another piece I did on Ballet After Work. One of the dancers, Kelly Teo, went directly on to a career with Diablo Ballet.
As long as I’m posting videos (for what else do you do with digital media), I might as well put up two projects from an avant garde film class I took at Berkeley.
I had trouble in this class; not with making the films—the professor loved my projects, though usually for aspects of them that were unintentional such as my “very edgy extended shot of the floor” in Footage and in a 16 mm film we worked on, my “use of hairs and dirt on the celluloid”—but with the writing: she wanted my papers to be more “textural.” I didn’t know what to do with that comment, though even then I knew that she was absolutely right.
Either/Or was our first project; it’s an allusion to Kierkegaard’s eponymous book, and I’m sure it was all very meaningful to me then.