Libby's Choreographic Highlight
“Healing Bones, Fractured Minds,” deepens dance injury research by exploring the emotional impact and long-term effects of going through injury as a dance artist. The choreographic process was a collaborative effort and aimed to display the multiple facets of injury and how each dancer processes this trauma.
"Healing Bones, Fractured Minds"
The idea for this piece came from my struggles with chronic hip pain and multiple surgeries, and how that impacted me returning to dance and beyond. My capstone stemmed from this experience and the changes it caused within myself and my relationship to others.
Dance injury research is expanding, but is still vastly limited in comparison to information on other athletes. I conducted a literature review to see what information was already out there, and what questions remained unanswered.
The dancers in the cast were given the choice to participate in voluntary, confidential interviews regarding their experience with dance injury and how it informed other areas of their lives. I also received anonymous survey data from a larger pool of dance artists to supplement these interviews.
The process of this piece, from the initial inspiration through to the final production elements, was collaborative in nature. The experiences of the specific dancers in the piece influenced the evolution of the storyline told through the movement.
The rehearsal process expanded over 12 weeks, cumulating in a 10-minute piece of choreography. Rehearsals included elements of improvisation, partner and group work, phrase manipulation, and working with words/experiences/
emotions regarding the subject matter.
"I think my injury was the best thing that happened to my dancing."
“I lost a lot of confidence in my dancing when I went through all of my injuries, and that really bothered me. But I knew I knew the only way for it to back - I mean I knew it wasn’t gone, that it could come back – but the only way to do it was just wait it out.”
- Megan Lecrone, New York City Ballet
"In terms of recovery, my teachers helped a little but it was my peers that made the journey to recovery possible. Without them, I wouldn't have had the strength to come back to dance."
“Regardless of the causes of injury and burnout, it is a mistake for companies and schools to choose to treat physical and mental health as separate, because dancers – given the intimate relationships they cultivate with their own bodies – do not experience injuries as solely physical events.”
- Chloe Angyal, Turning Pointe
Katie Bleu Barkely-Mastalski, Drew Bauerle, Maeve Bishop, Kaitlyn Brooks, Joanna Clifford, Emmaline Devore, Rebecca Jones, Morgan Masters, Anna Menarchek, Maya Richards, Tori St. John-Gilbert, Nadia Stronkowsky, Olivia Turner-Leftwich, Amelia Waddell
Photos on this page by: Emmaline Devore, Jenna Lutz, Mark Santillano
Quotes on this page shared without names are from interviews with members of the cast. These words are shared with permission from the originators and do not correlate with dancers pictured in the accompanying photos.