Chris Schlichting

08Feb10

Chris Schlichting, a Minneapolis-based dancer and choreographer took time to meet with me on Friday, 22 January. Chris and I met nearly ten years ago in a tap dance class; it’s lovely have my architectural studies finally align with dance to be able to call upon Chris’ deep knowledge of dance–artistically and logistically. Being very early in the semester, we spoke in general terms about my ideas for my project and the potential for collaboration. Chris was interested in the site-nonspecific nature of the proposal as well as the incorporation of fabric as an extension/interactive partner for the dance.

Sadly, I’ve never been able to see Chris’ work. Chris was kind enough to offer a remedy by inviting me to attend a rehearsal for some new work he is creating. Here’s a review of Chris’ evening length work, Love Things. Dance that Doesn’t Run on Pretty

Chris warned me about the particular nature of dancers; he may have even used the word persnickety. He told me that he has a defined vocabulary and method within which he works when creating new work. Understanding the working methods of your collaborator and understanding how they will complement or contrast with your own seemed to be the message.

While it wasn’t a threatening warning about working methods, it does make me wonder about my own process. Do I have a way of working that is also this particular? Or by being so early in my education/practice of design, are my methods still too flexible to strongly collaborate with someone outside of architecture? Perhaps cross-disciplinary collaborations need to be established between more evenly experienced partners in order for both to grow equally and together in a partnership.

I will be keeping in touch with Chris as my project develops, whether a collaborative relationship evolves or if Chris remains a dance expert to offer feedback and critique.

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