anna reyes :: creative restlessness

Choreographer Anna Reyes' debut film the good parts of being alive explores how time and space affect the relationship between two people.  When she launched her campaign to fund the project, we discussed inspiration, the filming process, and creative restlessness. 

"I was feeling kind of creatively restless – I knew I wanted to make something, but I didn't know what, and for some reason, I couldn't get excited about creating work for stage." 

That's how Boston-based dancer and choreographer Anna Reyes arrived at the good parts of being alive – a forthcoming dance film addressing the bond between two people, told through the lens of Austrian Expressionist painter Egon Schiele.

Visual art had been on her mind.  Her long-term partner, composer Jordan Maley, had recently performed The Waterlilies Suite, a jazz combo depiction of three of Monet's waterscapes.  Reyes was on her way to Austin, TX, to act and dance in Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler's Eighteen, a sequel to the art film in which she appeared when she was a young girl.  While she was filming, the set photographer introduced her to Egon Schiele's portraits, and that's when her ideas came together.

"The immediate thought I had was, what if I did a Google Image search and made a phrase based on all of the poses that came up, in order?  I started playing around in the studio one or two times right after I got back from Austin, and in those two rehearsals, that's when I decided to merge those ideas."

The result is an interpretation of how relationships are affected by time and space.  Reyes is a people-watcher, fascinated by the way that subtle body language and tones of voice say so much more than words do.

Given that the piece involves several dancers, including both partnering and ensemble work, I asked her whether these segments represent different kinds of relationships, or if it's primarily about romantic partnerships.  But she's not revealing the details of her inspiration.

"Honestly, I want to leave that open-ended.  I want it to represent different things to different people."