Paralleling Pedestrians

A hallway is a pedestrian space. The space is intended to perpetuate movement, incorporating organic aspects, and our artistic interpretations of those pedestrian habits.

Initially, the hallway’s structure inspired our phrasing. From the audience, the alcove corners catch one’s eye. The architectural design and pathway led us to create a phrase based on precision. We disappear and reappear using these alcoves; highlighting this architectural feature and adding dynamic to our movement. The movement is a series of arm gestures and usage of the wall as a partner. In the way that the walls hold the structured site together, the walls are the basis of our choreography and hold us up as we move – and further continue to support us as we improvise.

The improvisation exaggerates the original inspiration of the pedestrian movement, paralleling the unpredictable pathways and habitual movements of those who walk by. While keeping the original phrase as a guideline, we repeat, slow down, and add different dynamics and textures. In the way that our improvised choices reflect the organic-ness of the space, the pedestrians’ ability to choose their pathways around us reflects the organic nature that we originally focused on.

As an experiment in our Freshman Seminar Class, we were given the task of creating a dance film in a pedestrian-inhabited space throughout Sullivant Hall. In doing so, we were challenged to view this space we call home from a new perspective. Our eyes were opened to both the negative and positive spaces, leading us to create choreography that was both inspired and directed by not only the structure of the space, but also by the people that inhabit it. With this assignment, each group was called to create original movement, an original sound score, and edit the video individually. I, personally, took on the challenge of writing the description above (italics), which describes not only the intention of our video, but also the process that we underwent in creating this dance film.

This project, in a sense, served as a final summary of all of the things we learned in our first semester of this particular course. However, I think the thing that I took away from it the most was finding my artistry. I had never before been given a task such as this; and I had definitely never considered a hallway to be a space for performance and movement. I found myself making choices during our improvisations which felt natural, yet were not something I would have thought of executing prior to receiving this task. I became more open to inspirations and influences around me rather than overthinking and planning my movement in my head. I felt as though I gained a better sense of spatial awareness, as well as an awareness of what was going on around me rather than being close-minded to only choreographed movement.

In the future, I hope to build upon this new-found trust in myself and the ability to “let go.” I am very intrigued by the way that my movement changed when I allowed the movement to “happen” rather than planning it. Additionally, I hope to find everyday inspirations, such as a simple hallway, that can help me to develop new perspectives and ideas – further encouraging me to find new ways to move.

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