As Phoenix Dance Theatre gears up for its annual Phoenix at Home performances from 25 – 28 September 2019, we sit down with company dancer Michael Marquez, who this year showcases his choreographic explorations with LUX, an original short contemporary dance duet.
What inspired you to create LUX? What themes and/or emotions are explored?
The inspiration for Lux comes from a personal journey through accepting an inevitable decision that was looming and that left me disoriented and displaced. I also looked into how I coped with moving on with such sweet memories and feelings, as well as a bitter aftertaste of what could have been.
It is an exploration of how memories affect a person. The dialogue, or perhaps an interior monologue, between the person and the memory, appears to be a last chance to relive physical sensations and emotional journeys, and at times an opportunity to mould past experiences to make sense of present moments. Lux also deals with evoking what happens within the mind where time becomes circular and transcends the physical realm, almost to make something eternal, perhaps to avoid the inevitability of certain events.
Are there any other choreographers that you think your choreographic style is similar to?
In this particular duet, my choreographic style is influenced by many choreographers, some I follow virtually, some I had the pleasure to work with and learn repertoire from. My body definitely has echo of works by USA choreographers Robyn Mineko Williams and Kate Weare, as well as most recently by Amaury Lebrun; repertoire of Nacho Duato I’ve learned during training, and virtually, by means of observation and attending performances, Ivan Perez and Jiri Pokorny.
Who are your choreographic idols?
Such a hard question! I have many… I believe in choreographers and makers that have a holistic approach to their work: they push the frame of the art form without stepping out of it and they take the time to research and develop the content of the work. I look up to artists for different reasons and the way they have a clear grasp of their craft: some examples are Alexander Ekman, for his clever humor and grandiose imagination, Guy Nader and Maria Campos, for their hypnotic and mesmerizing partnering work, Amit Lahav, for his theatricality, simplicity and communicative devices and so many more.
You can catch Lux alongside a mixed programme of contemporary dance at Phoenix at Home from 25 – 28 September at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds.