Company dancer and assistant to the choreographer Lauren Ohmer joined Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (AL/DD) in the summer of 2007.
Since her first project “The Garden”, Lauren describes her time with the company as an artistic and personal growth process.
Prior to joining AL/DD, Lauren was classically trained in ballet and modern and had little knowledge of dance theatre. Her time with AL/DD has given her the opportunity to continue discovering what it means to find the deeper meaning in movement- and how each individual adds to its meaning. “DanceDrama does not have one specific type of dancer because each individual brings something unique and of their own to the table depending on life experience, age, the life you’ve lived, and the emotions you’ve lived through”.
Lauren explained that as a company member of AL/DD, one must have the physical foundation and technique as a dancer to control the body but also must be able to recognize the psychological and emotional aspects that opens up the reason behind movement. “If you can’t connect mentally and emotionally to your physicality, you might be a fantastic dancer but there is a disconnect and the movement may appear empty. The more I figure out about dance theatre, the more I realize there is so much more exploration to do. You realize the possibilities. It’s an exciting challenge.”
While it is important to value the technique and physicality, Lauren says that dance theatre has taught her the importance of valuing the emotional aspect of movement. She has been able to utilize this concept especially while in rehearsal for “Sangre Arena” which will be performed this coming week. The ideas of “Sangre Arena” originated from Mithraism, a pagan religion practiced by Roman soldiers which believed the killing of the ego led to attaining enlightenment. “This self-sacrifice parallels the sacrifice we make as artists. We must sacrifice our ego to show our insides as dancers. The choreography was created through the idea of the symbols and the peeling away of the ego. The religion sparked the movement and brings up questions to us as artists and hopefully to the audience” While the performance is not a recreation of the religion it has become a piece in which audiences will find thought provoking about the human condition.
Performances are on October Wed. 24, Fri. 26, Sun. 28 at 7:30pm and Sun, October 27 at 4pm part of Wave Rising Series at White Wave John Ryan Theater, 25 Jay Street, Suite #100, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Article by Misaki Kawachi