Joshua Vilim on Gravity's Edge
After a year of surprises, letdowns, and excitement not only for the dance community but for the world, Gravity’s Edge has been the driving force keeping me humbled and happy. COVID-19 has not been easy for anyone. After the year that CCDT faced with its first ever online classes and performances, having the opportunity to dance with each other in the beautiful pieces set to be shown very soon was the highlight of my year. It was the reminder which gave me hope that dance is still an art form that allows us to be with each other, and to communicate on a level that is unmatched.
The Gift choreographed by Hanna Kiel was an inspirational and moving piece for me to dance in. Whilst learning her choreography, I felt as though its themes that I found during my exploration of the piece were prevalent in the ways the choreography is set. From how I look at it, each dancer in the piece experiences some sort of unknown force from one another that allows them to reach a level of understanding human to human connection, which could not be more fitting than in the circumstances we all find ourselves in today. The choreography has allowed me to realize that even in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, there can still be moments of gratefulness and gratitude for the people we surround ourselves with.
If I had to describe the process of learning Earth Dance, Wire Dance choreographed by Sasha Ivanochko, I would have to say that it was like being in a party while being stuck in your house for the last year and a half, which is quite literally what is soon to happen with many of us! The choreography for this dance is quick and fast; it is a fun and challenging piece that I loved learning and being a cast member in. One theme that I have found to be prevalent in this piece is the idea of observation. Throughout the rehearsal process, rehearsal director and associate artistic director Natasha Poon Woo always gave us the reminder to make eye contact and to watch what other dancers were doing. It was so interesting to see where my fellow cast members would take the choreography and how much force and intention they would apply to each slow and fast movement. We are all huffing and puffing by the climactic ending, which was by far the most physically demanding piece of choreography that I have ever learned in my entire dance career.
Being in Artistic Director’s Deborah Lundmark’s new work, the darkening green has been memorable for me. From a personal perspective, learning her choreography is interesting as it is quite different from my own approaches to choreography and the ideas I have for movement. There is a certain elegance about the piece as a whole, even during times in which our movement becomes fast paced and more chaotic. During these chaotic moments, Deborah allowed us to give our own artistic intentions and had each of us make solos, which then turned into duets/trios once we were able to rehearse and see each other in person. Although I was a little nervous about how it would look manipulating dancers’ different choreography and putting them together so they would fit, the outcome of this looks stunning.
Creating this show for everyone to see has been satisfying. As a member of CCDT who will not be a part of the company again, ending my final year with this show has given me so much joy and happiness, especially after the year we all went through. Whether or not you are part of the dance community, I hope that watching Gravity’s Edge will move you like no other show has before.
- Joshua Vilim
CCDT Dancer, 2019-2021
Don't miss Josh and the rest of the 2020/21 Season CCDT dancers in Gravity's Edge, a virtual production of new creations and past repertoire on film!
Premiere Livestream Saturday July 17, 7:30PM EDT
Streaming On Demand July 17-25, 2021
Image of Josh and Soraya Lee Wo in rehearsal for The Gift
Choreography by Hanna Kiel
Photo by Drew Berry
Gravity's Edge graphic design by JCBowman DESIGN
Photos of dancer Kaiya Lee by David Hou