“Mantodea” performed by the Watchung Hills Regional Dance Ensemble May 2015

Dancer: Michelle DeAngelis

This was my first ever experience creating solo work on someone other than myself. The ease of solo work on oneself is that I understand my own body, how it likes to move, and what movement looks good on it. In this situation I had the special challenge of working with my sister, who is a completely different dancer than me in every sense of the word, both physically and artistically. Choreographing a solo on someone other than yourself means you need to let the voice you perceive them to have speak, not just your own voice. As my sister has such a different voice than I do, coinciding the two was especially difficult.

Truthfully this piece had no direct meaning behind it. I’d like to think on some level it was a goodbye solo from me to her, but for the most part is was more an exercise in skill than artistry. I had to teach myself to work with strict musical counts and create movement based on musical cues. I am someone who is used to making movement first then fitting it to music later because I feel that music restricts my voice. However, as stated previously, I know my sister works better under conditions in which music is a larger influence. This was both a healthy challenge for me in musicality and also in sharing a voice with another person.

Special thanks to Marisa Impalli and Caitlyn Barrows for overseeing this process and giving constrictive criticism (and putting up with A LOT of sisterly fighting)


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