I am attracted to dances that engage people from a sociological context. What do I mean by sociological context? The type of work I actively pursue are pieces that create a sense of community among people from the subject matter which is usually about a very specific group of people. I like to create movement from themes, images, poetry, prose, free writing, and drawing in my rehearsal based on individuals’ experiences. Through these individual stories, I collaborate with the performer to create a movement phrase that is unique to that person. I like to bring in a human element to my choreography. Dancers are human beings and have the tactile sense of touch, smell, hear, taste, and sight. By heightening the senses, the performer is invested in the work and can fully commit to their performance. As an artist, I strive to make my dances accessible to a full range of communities that might otherwise lack the exposure to dance. My hope is that my work can bridge cross-cultural ties between different countries, races, religion, and social standing. I am interested in blending recognizable everyday mundane gestures to more abstract imagery, athletic movement, and dance vocabulary. I like blurring the lines between the improvisational and the choreographed. Breaking cultural stereotyping by bringing light to subjects and themes that engages audiences to think about a social group in a different way, an example from my current work: The Korean dancer performing traditional Korean dance to French accordion music, a Swedish poem, and wearing Indonesian batik inspired sarong.
I am very excited about cross-pollination within the arts and collaborative projects with photographers, jewelry designers, musicians, actors/actresses, playwrights, filmmakers, and visual artists. Art inspires art and I find a lot of creativity and inspiration from other artists because we all speak the language that can transcend cultural misunderstandings, languages, and politics (even if the work has a political undertone). I am currently working with a jewelry designer, several photographers, a musician, an actress, two other choreographers, and I am also dabbling in documentary film to create this Chameleon project. This project is bigger than me, it is about my community, our community, and the International community we live in.
- Alaine Handa