The First Sweet Choreography Friday

This solo piece by Julie Brown won the choreography competition at Enter the Blues in 2012 and was performed at Blues SHOUT! in the same year.

What did you want to express with this choreography?

I wanted a piece that focused on details, particularly hands and arms, as well as lots of long, extended movements, instead of doing a ton of “moves.” The song was one I’d loved since the first time I heard it, and it lent itself really well to that style of moving. The intimate feel and emotion of the piece came from the music, and wasn’t something I originally set out to do, but again, it meshed well with the style of moving. Also, in general, I enjoy hitting things in the music that are not the most obvious, so that played into the choreography as well.

Why did you choose the song for the piece?

This song is beautiful; very emotional with lots of space, while still having fun musical elements to play with, and different textures and feels to it. I loved this song before I choreographed to it, but I had actually attempted to choreograph to 2 other songs pieces (and gotten stuck) before “giving up,” then choreographing to this song in the middle of the night, all in one go. The choreography just kind of fell out of the song for me, so this piece and the song are very special.

What other dances influenced or inspired this one?

This may be obvious, but the style is highly influenced by Naomi Uyama’s solo choreography and Sandra Gibson’s shake blues from Spirit Moves. I also really love Nina, Naomi, and Ramona’s choreography to Blues in C Sharp Minor, so that’s style is always on my mind.

How did you go about combining your concept, song choice, and influences to create the finished choreography?

As I said a bit before, this choreography really just sort of came out. It wasn’t an intentional, intellectual approach to take the concept + song + influences; I had something I wanted to do, and the song supported it and added to it, I got movement ideas from my brain, experimentation, and my influences. From there, I showed it to some friends whose opinions I value, which helped me refine and focus the piece, and to show what I wanted to show, while also making sure it was interesting, enjoyable, and better than it started.

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