We interviewed Julie Edison about her choreographic process while creating Level 5’s Jazz dance “The 8 Sins.” Keep reading so when you see the dance in recital, you’ll know what was going through her head when it was born.
What first sparked the idea for this dance?
I’ve been sitting on this idea for 3-4 years, just waiting for the right time to use it. I didn’t think this year was the year, since I had 8 dancers to work on instead of 7 but two things happened that changed my mind. Over the summer I happened on the perfect song to fit with the concept. Then, when I was doing research on the Seven Deadly Sins, I found list that included Sorrow as the eighth sin.
How did you choose who played each sin?
I picked who got which sin, not based on personality, but on the dancer’s quality of movement. I fit the quality of movement I foresaw for each sin with the dancer that naturally looks good doing that sort of movement.
How did you choose the costumes?
Choosing these costumes was so fun! I knew I wanted black, both thematically and because it would be a easier to match colors that way. Then I really loved getting to search through and pick individual costumes that matched what I wanted for each character.
What was the hardest part of teaching this dance?
Physically, I can’t do most of the movement. So there was a lot of explaining to the girls what I wanted and then rehearsals of them rolling around on the floor until what I wanted happened, then duplicating it, and then getting it clean. The dancers would say that the hardest part of the dance is the kick up from the floor.
The beat of this song is really quite slow for an advanced Jazz dance. That, and the fact that I wanted my soloists to be on a different level than the rest of the group, means that there is a lot of floor work – which I love.
What is your personal favorite moment in the dance?
There is a section when the beat drops and the singer starts singing. They do a triple pirouette and the section right after that is my favorite. It’s also the first section of the dance I choreographed and then built the rest of the dance from there.
The Eight Sins will be performing in both the 6:00 and 8:00 shows next Thursday, so look forward to checking it out then. Now you’ll be on of the best educated audience members around.