Translating Dance Into Martial Arts | IN THE WORKS | THE SHED
I started dancing when i was eight years old. And now I primarily work in contemporary dance. Traditionally I’m not a martial artist. I’m a dancer. I’ve never done anything like this show before. You know the way that I love to move is to flow through things and to be soft. And these qualities, I kind of needed to change for this role. Martial arts is very much about combat—it’s about aggression. It’s a lot of impact rather than sustained movement, like in dance. For example, if you call my name, I wouldn’t just turn. I’d be like … You know, it’s like sharp reflexes. Since I was young, I was a huge kung fu fan. I loved watching it. I just never had a chance to try and manipulate it into a performance art form. I guess I’m in a place now where I can stretch it and find the instincts that I naturally have to convey the strength of this character. This has been a challenge to kind of really gear up this emotion and use it in my body. You’re saying something with every single movement. It really comes from somewhere internal. You know, kung fu was originated for defending oneself. The show’s core is about people defending their own identity, and the courage to fight for their future.