With the start of each new season comes a series of shifts. The wind tightens, the earth adjusts to its chillier breath, and new works begin in the studios. This week we welcomed guest choreographer, Ilya Kozadayev, to set a few pieces for the first Up Close On Hope series.
His resumé is intimidatingly impressive (re: it begins with “he was born in Russia to a family of professional ballet dancers), but his demeanor is about as down-to-earth as it gets. Soft-spoken and cool as a cucumber, Ilya’s quick-witted humor is a stark contrast to the detached pas de deux he choreographed while struggling through the composition of his final dissertation. On the first day of rehearsal, Mr. Kozadayev shared with us the story of his study of kinesics (gestures), his battle with writer’s block towards the end of his final evaluation on the subject, and the role that experience played in inspiring Moonlight. The result of many nights spent sleepwalking through his empty mind, the pas is a haunting expression of the frustration and solitude that erupts from a lack of inspiration, set to the gorgeous Beethoven classic, Moonlight Sonata.
This piece is unlike anything I’ve ever danced; It’s loose, and heavy, but also delicate enough to resemble an insomniac’s walk on the moon. The emotional portrayal requires complete dissolution to the outside world, leaving me with nothing but the music and my own violently void thoughts. There’s something really therapeutic in surrendering yourself to utter inanition and using movement to lend a voice to that frustration. It is times like these when I realize what a powerful tool dancing has proven to be for my currently inconscient mind.