GroundWorks’ first-ever Dancer ChoreoLab Showcase will feature new work created and developed by company dancers. The November 10 event will be an exciting opportunity for our artists to express their individual styles and for audiences to see another side of them.

“The experience of initiating their own creative ideas and experimenting with and working through their own processes is so valuable to them as artists, regardless of whether or not they feel compelled to continue to choreograph,” says Artistic Director David Shimotakara.

Company dancer Michael Marquez, along with fellow dancers Felise Bagley and Stephanie Terasaki, will debut new work at Thursday’s invite-only event. We spoke with Michael about his untitled piece, which involves a variety of music danced by a quartet of movers.

Tell us more about the new work you will be sharing.

“I am currently working on an untitled piece. It is a preliminary stage of a piece I will be choreographing for the CSU Spring Concert in March. I am taking advantage of this time to get myself ahead in the process. It will involve a variety of different soundtracks and music pieces and it will be danced by a quartet of movers.”

Where did you get inspiration for this piece?

“The main inspiration for the piece is a set of four seemingly independent stories that are linked to one another (directly or indirectly). These stories come from a movie that I recently watched. As of now I don’t want to share what movie it is because that creates a lot of expectations on how the stories should be portrayed.”

Describe your creative process.

“I am not entirely sure I can describe my creative process. But I would like to say that it changes every time I choreograph. The main reasons are the inspiration, the dancers, the music and what my body as a performer has recently experienced. In this particular case, the chronology of the stories is driving the structure of the piece and the movement comes out of the psychological and physical journey of the characters.”

 What new ideas are you exploring in this work?

“Complexity interests me a lot – whether it is in the movement or how I set up the kinetic and spatial relationship among the dancers. I find it very appealing because of the unexpected connections and the variety of ‘colors.’ However, it gets busy and almost overwhelming at times, and that’s when the problem solving comes in – a time in the studio that I find particularly engaging and enjoyable.

New ideas are hard to find, but ideas that I have never tried before are what I am interested in exploring. It is a learning process for me to see how I deal with a pre-existing concept and how it matches with my tastes and my choreographic preferences.

I am very intrigued in combining ideas of choreographers I admire as well as those that I’ve explored in the past. Some of them clash and some match, others are complementary: it is satisfying when suddenly one of this relationships suits whatever it is being communicated.”

What new things are you learning about yourself during the creative process?

“I find myself also saying yes to a lot of opportunities and just driving whatever wave the studio has during that day and then reflect on it at home or just let it be! The piece is far from being a final product; it is a work in progress and I am using the time I have to shape it. I’m very excited to see what the showing will bring on the plate!”