This year marks the LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California’s 10th anniversary. The program has lined up several special moments to celebrate – one of which is the return of alumna, Katie Scherman, to set a new work on our Junior Class for their Fall Showcase. Read more about Katie’s experience coming back, and then see the work live, Oct 28 & 29 at Angelico Concert Hall.
LINES Ballet BFA Guest Choreographer: Katie Scherman, BFA Alum ‘10
What was it like returning to the BFA program and creating a work on the current Junior Class?
I was thrilled to come back and set a work on the BFA program. Every time I walk through the 26 7th street front doors, I have a rush of possibility and magic running through me…to walk into the studio and feel the memories flow in….to remember my growth and the journey in the same studio…the moment where I wasn’t dancing for approval anymore… it has been quite overwhelming…in the best possible way.
Junior year is pivotal: you have two years of LINES training in your body, you are in a deep state of self investigation and physical rigor, and you are questioning everything.
My creative process is collaborative, giving each student a voice in the creation, but I also wanted to challenge the students with the clarity and precision of complete unison vs. the abandonment of exploring their individual selves. The work explores doubt and possibility and the self-dialogue that comes with both. We know how to be both nice and mean to ourselves….so how do we navigate that? I guess in some ways the piece is a reflection of the journey I had in the BFA program, and the journey I am constantly on. Is doubt a bad thing if it enlivens us and drives us on our journey to possibility?
In my five weeks working with the Juniors, I witnessed dedication, struggle, personal inquiry, blossoming, connection, and abandonment. Their voices in the process have been hugely informative in how I construct the work; I believe this is a true testament to the program…the students are deep thinkers which allows them to swim in the movement with personal inquiry. They begin to own the movement. I admire the students hunger….their hunger to use every inch of their body makes the observer think “if they can do that, maybe I can do that.” The program incites a way of thinking that “anything is possible.” This philosophy breaks the fear and perfection that come with early training and a mindset that says “you aren’t good enough” to “I am good enough.”
In my time at LINES Ballet BFA program, the biggest thing I took away and still take away, is that I don’t need someone to tell me I’m worthy to believe that I am worthy. For me, this is one of the biggest gifts I have ever received.
What are your feelings towards the LINES Ballet BFA Program in general?
The program is enlivening your creativity and assisting in your rebirth from thinking you have to be and dance like “this” to opening your eyes to the artist that you already are. The LINES faculty, ranging from past LINES company dancers to contemporary and modern educators, provides students with rich and explorative techniques to learn and conquer. LINES offers an environment where every student is challenged to tap into their ferocious selves.
It is a supportive and alive community where each student is helping each other grow, whether they realize it or not.
For my five week residency, I also taught a Creative Process workshop for the Sophomore class. I facilitated an environment to strengthen their role as a mover, creator, observer, and collaborator. Tasks were aimed at creating material, retaining material, collaborating with others, and utilizing their voice within movement. The students were open, hungry, open to stumbling, present, and supportive of each other. The workshop was deeply invigorating…I actually didn’t want it to end.
BFA Fall Showcase
Friday, October 28, 2016 at 7:00pm
Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 3:00pm
Angelico Concert Hall, Dominican University of California
General Admission: $10.00
Free with Dominican ID
Join us for the premiere of four works featuring choreography by Gregory Dawson, Amanda Miller, Carmen Rozestraten, and in honor of our 10th Anniversary, BFA Alum Katie Scherman.