Interplay, which runs March 8-10 at the Hult Center, features seven new dances choreographed by University of Oregon dance faculty and Eugene Ballet Company artists, independently and together.
Two choreographers — EBC’s Suzanne Haag and UO’s Shannon Mockli — recently came together to build a new work.
“The collaborative process began with selecting impressionist music from Ravel’s Miroirs,” Mockli says. “We then began to explore mirrors both literally and metaphorically, considering how our perceptions of self are developed over time.”
This exploration also became about the artists’ identities as dancers and choreographers.
“We met in the studio to exchange movement phrases and gestural ideas as well as to witness each other improvise. This allowed us to come to know each other more deeply than just co-designers,” Mockli says.
“What has surprised me the most is how much personal growth I have felt as Shannon and I have explored our concept,” Haag says. “Our discussions about identity and our improvisation sessions exploring Ravel’s music and each other’s movement styles have been almost cathartic.”
Haag echoes Mockli’s observations.
“There have been questions regarding identity in general that we have tackled through movement that have led to me asking myself, ‘Why do I create? How do I create? And what does that say about me?’” Haag says.
Throughout the early rehearsal process, each choreographer worked with her own artistic team.
“Shannon and I are having to create a storyboard, a sort of map for the work, so that when we do combine the entire cast together, the dancers don’t all run into each other,” Haag says.
Both choreographers say they look forward to bringing the dancers together.
“That is where growth happens as an artist, when you are brought out of your normal way of working into a new situation where there is unfamiliar territory,” Mockli says. “This is an exhilarating place to live in as an artist.”
Catch Interplay at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, and 2 pm Sunday, March 10, at the Hult Center. Tickets at hultcenter.org.