Jennifer Chin’s choreography has been inspired by literature, visual art and sound, creating work that has varied in style, texture and mood. Her investigation into movement energizes the mix of dynamic elements such as vague lightness with precision and exactness. She is interested in how the exploration into physicality transforms ideas and communicates in a way no other art form can. Her use of the stage creates dramatic landscapes for relationships to unfold. With the use of sets, lighting or mere phrasing of movement the audience is welcomed into a conversation.
The inspiration for my choreography can be visceral, visual or theoretical. I strive for the viewer to be transported to the world I have created and/or stimulated to create their own narrative. Each piece begins with a seed of a thought- sometimes a physical gesture, a still image, a piece of literature or perhaps a speculative question. I am consistently intrigued by the way movement can explore ways of communication, either between dancers or between the performers and the audience. I want my work to take the viewer on a journey. In ‘The Weight of Lightness’, a solo dancer moves with lush, broad strokes. Another dancer, all in black, drops red petals on the floor around the soloist, like a spirit guide. By the end, the soloist becomes confined in five red concentric circles and must decide whether she is trapped or if she is at a new beginning.
The artists I collaborate with come with their own creative identity. I love it when a composer can generate sound that inhabits the space with atmosphere. Inspired by Merce Cunningham and John Cage, I will often choreograph the dance first and then add the score just before a performance. My fellow dancers contribute their artistry through their instincts of character and movement. Through set design, I reinterpret the stage just like the chapters of a novel, delineating the space to create a beginning, middle and end.
In, ‘Seduction of a Sparrow’, a soloist is splayed on the floor encircled by a rope made of found objects. Vulnerable, she lays on her side, back arched, head to foot. She then sinuously begins to curl in and unfurl, curl in and unfurl, round and round in the circle like a creature underwater. Time seems to move in slow motion. There is a sense that the dancer moves against gravity. In this piece, like all of my work, I create dance to feel, relate and convey thoughts and expressions. When I discover new movement it reminds me of the inherent human-ness of us all. Dance reminds me of how we are all connected to the universe.