How to Keep Up: Jenn Freeman choreographs against the clock in ‘…it’s time…’

How are you keeping up with time in your first evening-length work?

I feel like I have always had an urgent outlook. When a dear friend recently came into a rehearsal of ….it’s time…, she spoke to the dancers about how I have always been one to be pushing forward, on the balls of my feet in life. I am 32 now, but turning 30 was transformative for me as a dancer. Nothing really changed from 29-30 except my perception, outlook, and anxiety. I was asking questions I hadn’t asked before: how do we as a culture define what 30 means? If you are able to separate out the expectations and disconnects — of where you should be in your life,  especially as a woman, thinking about children, and yet in dance culture, you are also dealing with an aging body — it is actually an exciting time. I’m not that reflective of a person, I look ahead always, but I now find myself in a place, with this work, where I am doing both simultaneously.

I have actually made quite a few pieces around the idea of time and what it means, but for this piece I had a vision of a clock being involved. Sometimes I have a narrative, but generally I get these urges or glimpses of ideas. In the beginning we didn’t use it in rehearsal. Usually when I am creating, I am able to simply be present and forget about time. I can’t speak for the performers, but I did feel a big shift in energy when the clock was brought into the space. It feels ominous, you just see it, and it heightens your awareness. As well, Dani Markham [drummer currently on tour with Childish Gambino] composed a live drum score that literally dictates the tempo for the sixty-minute dance.

words by Jenn Freeman | images of Chelsea Thedinga + Dani Markham by Mike Esperanza

This Thursday through Sunday, Freemove Dance premieres  …it’s time… at The Theater at the 14th Street Y. Click here for tickets.

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