Solos – Pursuing Intimacy within Exposure

by Alejandra Garavito

1. What challenges do you encounter when making solos that you don’t encounter using any other number of dancers? What liberty do you find?

Solo pieces are more intimate for me which is shocking in the sense that stage is a bizarre place for intimacy. So I feel challenge to find a personal, intimate voice in a voyeuristic ambient. The freedom I find in solos is the fact that you are talking in a single language, the dancers. Even you are choreographing the piece; it will be in the natural language of the dancer, no mix-ups. When you have more people, communications can get mixed and too many voices might not speak of the same things or in the same volumes. In solos you can be clearer.

2. How is your compositional approach different in making solos than other configurations?

My experience has being in being more emotional that spatial when doing solos. When there is more people I tend to think more on how they will look overall, who has focus, where do they synchronize, etc. So I take space more into account. In solos I can use less space but make it more emotional since people’s eyes are more concentrated in a specific area.

3. When you are constructing a solo, what are some of the things you are looking to see or create?

Honesty, clarity, shape.

4. What pitfalls or cliches have you embraced or confronted when making solos?

Over using the facial expressions or basing the piece in similar subjects.

5. What are the reasons you choose/have chosen to create a solo over other configurations?

It usually has being more of not being able to have to many people available or was unable to pay more dancers.

6. What, and how, do solos contribute to your work, to your practice? What is their relevance?

I like solos since they present a totally different way of experiencing dance for the public. Also, something that scares me is the fact of dancing my own solos. As I wrote before, I believe solos are more intimate and I love taking dancers to those intimate places, but its not the same to do it with myself. So in overall they present constant challenges for my spirit.

7. For you, what necessities exist with solos that do not with other groupings?

I feel that when there is groups the main sense that you need and use is your sight; when you are working a solo you use the touch. I honestly don’t know how to explain it, but it is a one-to-one experience and even if you don’t really go and touch the person that is dancing, the feeling must be like if you are; that you are placing the body where you want it and that they are feeling the shivers, etc, etc, everything that comes with touch

8. For you, what characteristics make up a well-crafted solo?

Super clear on intentions, it is honest and natural in movement, it is about content and not shape.

What are your thoughts about Alejandra’s reflection on making solos? Leave a comment below. Want to share your own reflection on making solos? You can share it here.

Read more reflections by Alejandra here.