Reflecting on Roger Jeffrey’s A Soliloquy Among Many

Arts / Article

By Colby Damon, BalletX dancer

It is always interesting to reflect on a piece recently performed after some time away from daily mental insertion into it’s unique combination of elements. Though it has been three weeks since the Ballet X company members and I performed Roger Jeffrey’s A Soliloquy Among Many for our summer repertory program, the sensations I felt waiting for my various entrances and exits are still as fresh as if I had experienced them last night.

It is perhaps bizarre to have a first comment not on the dancing, but in the anticipation of the dancing, yet during performance for this piece in particular the sense of longing and anticipation between various passages for me was for some reason overwhelming. Maybe it was the music whose romantic sentiments stirred within me a desire to encounter some sort of invisible, idealistic lover. Perhaps it was the sense cultivated as a result of watching fellow company member Chloe Horne in her featured role, where though she was strong enough to stand apart from the group in her noble individuality, nonetheless simultaneously expressed a sense of longing to be accepted.

Then again, it could have been a result of the flow I felt upon entering into the phrases of choreography, when the movement seemed to emanate from within me as if it were my subconscious utterings naturally describing the situation before me. At these moments it was as if I were having an outer-body experience, and perhaps when I was no longer moving, my body was finally conscious of itself again, and a sense of longing to again enter that space overcame me.

Additionally the profound the sense of community forged within the piece has stuck with me. A few days before the premiere while we were receiving notes, Mr. Jeffrey mentioned how he wanted the ensemble to really connect with one-another in the many instances where we were shifting spaces. To infer these relationships he asked us to really look at each other in the eyes, to subtly touch one another upon impromptu meetings, and to really listen to the momentum and movements of the other dancers. These interactions carved many flashes of soft embraces and direct gazes from my fellow dancers into my memory that stick with me almost a month later.

It is a pleasure to be a part of such an experience. Memories like those resulting from A Soliloquy Among Many provide ripe fodder for the evolution of personal artistry, and great reflections that are forever melded into the tactile consciousness of dancers.