Author Archives: cleokell

The Theater of it All

As I stepped into the studio yesterday, I knew that I wasn’t feeling it. My body and moving were not things that I wanted paired. But I had to get going. So I thought, “How do I loosen myself up?” What I ended up doing was putting on some Frank Ocean and dancing my ever-loving heart out. I didn’t think about my movements (or anything else for that matter.) I just moved. I danced and danced as song after song played. While a lot of the movements repeated, and I tended to burn out 3/4 of the way through the song, I still managed to develop quite a few good movements. The song Provider is what really got me moving. Something about the line “show me the wisdom in your movement” really kept me inspired. I came in sluggish and by the end all I wanted to do was dance.


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This exercise really got me thinking about the theater of dancing. When I was anticipating each lyric, and moving my body in a way that could best represent each word, phrase, and sound, I was able to realize just how similar this is to theater. I’m trying to convey emotions set out for me in my own unique way. My perspective is the guide, but it is heavily influenced by the work of others (or in the case of my dance, myself.) I remember, a few weeks ago, I was talking with T. Will about my project, and he said to me jokingly “You couldn’t incorporate theater into your project?” But the more I think about it, dance is theater. Dance is just a different manifestation of the same idea. That knowledge helped guide me through choreography. I kept thinking to myself, “how would I act this out?” And I let the movement take me where it needed to go.

Weight – Cleo

T. Jenny and I talked about my progress last Monday, as we do every Monday. One thing she brought up was weight. In my dancing I’m always up on my toes. I like to feel light and pretty when I’m moving. But she made a good point: being light is meaningless if it does not exist in a dichotomy with heaviness. This week I’m trying to bring that heaviness into my movement. More specifically, I have to think about what it means to be heavy, and how that translates into the music and the story. Continue reading

Progress – Cleo

Through the last summer and over the course of the past few weeks, music has become an increasingly huge part of my life. It started for fun and has developed slowly (but not that slowly) into absolute devotion. In this time, I’ve made 8 songs. And as each one passes, I see myself growing tremendously. Just two weeks ago, I decided to bet on myself, I invested in my own work, and, with my mother’s assistance, upgraded my music equipment to a more professional level. Continue reading

Back to the Studio – Cleo

I started choreography today. It was my first time in the dance studio this year. Nearly immediately, I noticed how challenging it was to get back into the flow of movement. What I ended up doing was sitting in front of my computer with a pen and paper; and writing down every single thing that came into my head for each section of the song. Continue reading