Behind Visions 2012: “Pull It Together” by Natalie Schiera

Being my last semester at BU and thus my last semester in Dance Theatre Group, I knew that I would forever regret not choreographing for Visions 2012. I didn’t know where to start, I didn’t have any specific subject matter or music, I just knew I had to request a space and rehearsal time for the piece that I will eventually figure out–this was in no way an easy road. I tried starting the process with general ideas about movement quality, but nothing stuck. It turned out that the music I found is what really set the ball in motion.

The song I chose is by Youngblood Brass Band, a jazz/hip-hop/punk brass band that I discovered in high school. The mix of Latin and New Orleans jazz gave rise to a movement quality and a loose concept that I determined as “marionette-esque.” I envisioned these dancers being tugged around by some master puppeteer as the dancers struggle to gain control. However, it wasn’t until I spoke to one of the faculty members, Brian Feigenbaum, that I realized that there is always a bigger picture. He saw the piece as relating to society’s tribulations and struggle to overcome them.  After overcommitting myself to a plethora of activities and responsibilities for most of my life, I realized the subconscious decision that I made for this piece.

In reality, choreographing the dance was a struggle to overcome in itself. I have been in DTG long enough to know what the faculty advisers look for, but applying them off the bat did not come naturally — especially with the short amount of time we have to work on these dances. I could work on this dance for a lifetime and still want to make changes, but that’s how the creative process works: you create, you alter, you create, you alter, etc. until you eventually settle.

Combining this clumsy choreographic process with the initial marionette concept and the more developed parallel to society led to the title choice-“Pull It Together.” I can happily say that I did this (eventually), and I owe so much of this to my dancers. I am so proud of them for putting up with my weekly rehearsals full of chaos and back pain.  I am excited for the dance to be complete with the costumes on, the lights set and an audience to watch it.

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