For the first choreography study assigned in Choreography II at the University of Kentucky, we were instructed to create a duet exploring the tools of partnering, manipulation of motifs, and the deliberate utilization of different types of connection between a pair. Choreographic approaches were also expected to acknowledge the role music plays in the development of relationship dynamics between a couple.

For a while, I have aspired to create a movement study exploring the similarities between relationships of unhealthy attachment and healthy affection. To illustrate the often overlapping correlation between the physical sensations in particular– the walking on eggshells, shrunken feeling of a toxic relationship in stark opposition to the expansive, fluttering elation associated with genuine love– I edited together a soundtrack consisting of an ominous track called “Memory Arc” by Rival Consoles with the grandiose, raw, and expressive sentiment of the bridge in Hozier’s “Unknown / Nth” where he cries, “Do you know, I could break beneath the weight of the goodness, love, I still carry for you? / That I’d walk so far just to take the injury of finally knowing you,” (2:53-3:18). My intention for fusing two sharply contrasting songs was to clearly emphasize the disconnected, desperate uncertainty of a toxic relationship that differs from the cinematic and larger than life liberation felt when you find the right person.

After a tumultuous and unnecessarily long winded breakup two years ago, I had just begun dating my current partner. In a journaling session at a coffee shop, I found myself comparing the physical sensations and prominent emotions I experienced in the turbulent, complicated relationship as opposed to the new relationship where I felt as if I had known him my whole life.

The final result of my creative process was a tense duet— complete with Aloria Beason as my duet partner— emphasizing a lack of connection between a couple, followed by a seamless reset into a new movement style presenting the couple bounding limitlessly around the room, physically supporting one another and accenting the exuberant musicality.