by Becky Bearse-Esqueda – Solos present unique challenges to a choreographer. The main challenge is finding the right dancer for the piece. This dancer must be very strong, not just technically, but as a performer, as it is up to this dancer, and her alone, to engage the audience in her world. In creating solos, I also choose dancers that have a wide movement vocabulary and are essentially more than dancers-they are artists. This way, I can sculpt the movement around this dancer’s strengths and unique gifts she brings to the table. The additional challenges are telling your story successfully via one dancer and using the stage appropriately.
The liberty I find in creating solos is the ability to craft the solo around the dancer’s strengths and skills. Solos also present unique opportunities for collaboration, as I often talk about the piece as I create it, the emotional aspect of it, the story I am trying to tell, and also the movement style I am looking to create. We often work together to build off movement phrases and sculpt the phrases to fit the dancer. Overall, creating a solo is a really unique opportunity for a choreographer to collaborate with the dancer by allowing room for improv. and movement creation.