Frame Dance Productions presents Let’s Stay Home and Fight, the latest from dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director Lydia Hance. Lydia both generously and provocatively describes her inspiration and intention for this performance, and I believe that these insights will enrich the experience for you, our beloved participants and audience.
Letter from Lydia:
Settle in, I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my creative process for this next show, Let’s Stay Home and Fight on January 26 and 27. I like to make work to confront myself: my fears, my doubts, my questions. I love how art is my vehicle for personal growth. That’s how I know it is a lifelong endeavor. Making art will never be something I retire from. It’s the way I make sense of things, and it’s the way I deal with my world. As a person averse to conflict (any of you out there like me?), I have been trying to figure out why my natural instinct is to avoid it. I mean, there are ACTUAL HUMANS out there who dive right in with zest and a pair of curled up fists. After a little research I discovered that there are people who believe conflict is the best way to reach an agreement, and is even a good way to connect. This was mind blowing to me. I’ll take my one way ticket back to Mars, because I must be an ET on this Earth.
At the recommendation of a friend (and artist in this show), I began to study the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I have found this system far more accurate and helpful than any of the other personality typing models out there. I’ve been digging into it for almost a year; I am no expert, but it has truly helped me understand my own strengths, vices, and challenges. It has been both freeing and challenging.
I take quite a bit of time by myself crafting creative concepts, movement ideas, and music selections. I schedule rehearsals where I have time to be by myself and internally sift through what is developing. I make dance by feeling. I often cannot put words to my ideas in the creation process. I make by instinct. It’s like I have millions of feelers all over my body and I have to sense every choice. That can take time.
People have told me that I’m thoughtful. I’ve always kind of liked that. As a 4 personality type (you’ll have to do a little of your own research to understand what that means), I have an ability to understand how others around me feel. 4s are highly empathetic. So in rehearsals, I sense others. I respond to them. What would happen if I embraced conflict? Easier said than done, I know. Could I create an environment where I give myself license to be a little bit more obstinate? Could I make work that might be a little bit less thoughtful, and maybe a little more gutsy? I’m trying it.
Here’s how I’m making this show:
I am assigning each of the six dancers (including me) a number on the Enneagram. We are researching these numbers deeply. Each artist makes each creative choice from the perspective of the personality type they are assigned to. I am giving each person a primary duet partner, and we are researching our partners’ numbers. The show will be based on three pairs of people negotiating with each other’s differences. We are making the show during extended rehearsal times, all crammed in one week, in the performance space. There’s an intentional pressure-cooker format to the creation and performance. In a word: intense. In another? Exhilarating.
Here’s your homework:
- Research the Enneagram. There are a lot of great podcasts out there. Find out your number before this show, do a little emotional work. It would even be fun to see if you can guess the personality numbers of the dancers by watching the performance.
- Come see the performance. This is going to be risky, vulnerable, and revealing.
Put ‘em up,