This week we have been working on a new piece set to the music of Ani DiFranco. The music, Both Hands, has always been intriguing to me as it has a frolic-y, bouncy sound; yet, it is a song about frustration and lack of communication. I absolutely had to create something to it.
There are many ways to handle frustration and each is represented within the piece:
The emotional blaster – this person tells you exactly how they feel about it and throws in other feelings that may or may not be relevant. It’s an explosive version of their feelings with little regard to rational or understanding of the other person/situation. Highly reactive.
The calm rationalist – this person approaches conflict thoughtfully, through careful analysis. The blaster doesn’t understand how the rationalist can remain so calm. Because of this, they are sometimes seen as cold or unfeeling.
The Avoider – Immobilized by the thought of a conflict, this person avoids the situation at all costs. They keep their feelings to themselves, eventually growing tired of the situation and either leaving or making a stand.
The builder – This person hides their feelings, letting them build slowly until they are unstoppable. Appearing to be a calm rationalist, they take you by surprise with a sudden strong emotional outburst.
Each of us can be all of these types of people, depending on the situation. With movement phrases that represent each of the above, our new piece shows how miscommunications abound when these different personality types come into contact. Our own perspective in a situation is only one side to the story.
The audience sees the reality of each confrontation: Both sides, both individuals, both hands.