Photo: Lindsay Browning
Would I lie to you?, like previous work by RealLivePeople, is an exploration of our sense of identity and common humanity. But this time it’s all about lying: who we lie to, when do we lie most often and how we feel about it?
Rather than asking these personal questions to strangers we’ve stayed a bit closer to home: each of the dancers started the process vigilantly (and not so vigilantly) tracking his or her lies and reporting them back to the group. From there I conducted an interview with each dancer about their lying habits – the text from these interviews will form a large portion of the sound score for the piece.
What we’ve learned so far is surprising (and also not): pretty much everyone lies all the time but we feel really differently about it. Some dancers believe that their lives would be better if they never lied while others believe that lying is a necessary part of many of their relationships and interactions – it keeps thing cordial. Along with the moral pondering there are also discussions about cheating, familial patterning, text/email deceit, chronic exaggeration and long term self delusion. It’s kind of juicy.
Oh, and there’s dancing:
By Gina Hoch-Stall, choreographer
In the past few weeks I have often been asked why jobs and work are the inspiration for the company’s newest evening length dance. Here is my answer:
Because I believe that we often define people by their work. We categorize, label, stereotype and organize them in this way. We have all been victims and perpetrators of this type of sorting and I wanted to know, is it true? Does your work say something about who you are?
I am also curious about what different types of work sound like, look like; how people feel about what they do and what it means to them. This project is one way to learn about the human experience and it is something that I, never having had a ‘proper job’ with a salary and benefits, am not sure that I completely understand. It is also incredibly timely as ideas about work and jobs are currently changing dramatically.
I am choosing to make a dance because I love making dances; I love working with my dancers and performing. But I also think dance is a great medium for fully embodying what work looks like, showing passion/drive or casual precision. It is helpful for perceiving process and problem-solving and for tackling issues from multiple sides: telling a story, asking a question, and digging into all of the physical stuff in between.
However, I don’t want to overlook the reality that many people do not consider dancing or creating dances a job. Not because we do not work hard but because we are paid poorly or not at all. We have no benefits, no retirement, no stability—and almost all of us have to retain other jobs to support our dance life. It is possible that this particular reality of a dancer’s life gives me a skewed perspective on the working world but I have also found that people’s reactions to my career and employment say a lot about what they believe work is about: passion, money, relationships, boredom. I am still figuring out how to incorporate my own experiences, as well as the dancers’, into the work but I’m sure I will find a way.
This summer took me (Gina Hoch-Stall, choreographer) all across the country for dance conferences, workshops and performances. Here are a few of the things that most inspired me.
Simon Sinek: The keynote speaker at the Dance/USA conference in San Francisco was eloquent and witty but also and honest and direct. He helped get all of the attendees thinking about WHY we do the work that we do and HOW do we get other people excited about it. Click the photo for a link to one of his popular TED Talks.