For this piece I adapted several pieces of choreography I had used in the past in an exercise to make a skating program where I explored the idea of a supernatural force dictating movements beyond my control, as if in a trace. My inspiration for this piece came out of the reading in Sells for week two, which discussed the effect that Qur’anic recitation can have on the listener. The sounds of it, be it the musical interpretations, the text itself, or other presentations, are known to move people both emotionally and physically. For instance, spontaneous shedding of tears is considered virtuous, since it is a sign that one has been moved by the text.
I chose for this piece to use a piece of music called “The Protecting Veil” by John Tavener. It was inspired by a story of a Russian church that was protected by a fragment of the veil of Mary. The interpretation my choreographer and I were hoping to create was a sense of being moved by an invisible force, that I as the performer am experiencing the music moving me instead of me moving along with the music. It is a difficult concept to execute, and I didn’t quite manage it throughout the performance, but it is certainly there.
The opening represents the beginning of the recitation, when the listener is opening his or her heart to the words of God. The spin at the beginning is a spin that I taught myself that I like because it appears as though I am opening my heart to the heavens. Through the next section, the music begins to dictate movements, syncopated and uplifting as I move across the ice. The entire effect of the piece should create an impression of movement and submission. The final spin is low to the ice looking upwards to represent both of those aspects.
This piece is less physically demanding than my other one because it is shorter, however this is meant to be more of a concept piece experimenting with the choreographic idea that I pulled from the reading. As with the other piece, I would normally spend months perfecting this choreography before performing it.