Frequently mentioned in a dance studio is the importance of listening to the music and counts. Putting movement to the fine undercurrents of sound or maybe instead to the main melody. As a dancer you learn to hear every noise and beat. Over the years, especially when being tutored in the acting side of a character it is often said, “don’t be afraid of doing nothing in the silence.” As a movement based personality the pull is to fill every moment with steps. This is how I have come to understand the power of silence and stillness. That dancing with music and sound is just as powerful and beautiful as movement with silence. I suppose what I am trying to say is that music and sound whether it is existent or non-existent has a vast influence on both dancers emotions and movement quality and the effect on the audience.
This is highlighted strongly for me when rehearsing Andrew Simmons stunningly beautiful piece ‘Of Days.’ We will be taking this piece to America in just 2 weeks time. What strikes me most when dancing Andrew’s piece is the incredibly powerful effect that the music has on the way I feel. He explores all avenues of movement in silence and to every undercurrent of every instrument and also melody. Your body is stretched to complement every flow and pull of the musical score. The beauty of the music he has chosen for ‘Of Days’ is divine. From composers Olafur Arnalds, Dustin O’Halloran and Ludovico Einaudi it’s the kind of music you could feel completely at peace just listening to with your eyes closed. There is not a set character requirement to this piece. Yet I feel when I dance it that it takes me on an emotional journey. I have an intent and purpose to who I am in the piece and where it takes me. It is in these rehearsals that I realise how much of a profound effect that sound of any kind has on dance and the feeling that is created.