©2019 by Tiffany Lau

figures;

choreography

poetic images and choreographing meaning

Although one can construct a thematic “narrative” through figures;, its main goal is to evoke a world of emotions. Every section has several anchoring symbols that guide the emotional experience – what phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard would call “poetic images.” A poetic image is a “sudden salience on the surface of the psyche” that reverberates with an “archetype dormant in the depths of the unconscious.” In the context of dance, it can be interpreted as an experienced moment that speaks one’s soul, one’s being at the most elemental of levels. 

Some of the poetic images run through different sections as motifs, while others are direct manifestations of the section’s emotional backbone, but their common goal was to provoke an emotional response in audience members. A stereotype in dance viewership is that movements express emotion, and while this is true to some extent, I am more interested in the emotions evoked in those receiving the movement. The following are scenes from both the choreographic process and the show itself that were important moments of meaning-making in figures;.

bound

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eruption

grief

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connection

duality

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contemplation

bravery

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release