Good morning. We hope you made the most of your holiday weekend... [checking notes]... sitting at home.
For today's message, we turn to someone who's really good at turns, the dancer and choreographer Elby Brosch. For whatever reason—maybe it's because of Ken Jennings's message a couple months back, maybe it's because we're all glued to our TVs these days—Elby's had Jeopardy! on the brain.
As you will be able to tell from watching this...
As Elby said in an artist statement he sent along with this piece:
I believe dance can take us immediately to a feeling place, beyond the limitations of language. Abstract dance has the ability to take ideas and feelings far too complicated to be solely talked about, and present them in a way that the audience can empathetically connect with. Shared empathy builds connections and community through the temporal and ephemeral experience. I use humor, camp, and clear cultural references to draw the audience in, then I push into abstraction, repetition, and stillnesses to drop into deep emotions and exist together with the audience in unspeakable complexity.
Elby moved to Seattle after receiving his BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois. He is the creator and co-choreographer of Drama Tops, a queer performance group with Shane Donohue and Jordan MacIntosh-Hougham. Drama Tops independently produced Drama Tops, this is for you at Washington Hall in January 2020.
For Elby, who began dancing at age 10, dance quickly became a safe haven, a way to connect to a body that felt hard to understand. As gender became confusing, movement became clear. He gained control and intimacy with his body, and learned to process emotion and trauma through movement. Now, he choreographs to build connection and understanding. He distills the trans experience down to what makes us human and offers that to his audiences.
Thank you, Elby, for starting this week off with humor, camp, and complexity.
And thanks for getting the Jeopardy! theme song stuck in our heads.
Good luck facing whatever this week brings, everyone.
Previously in this series: