11 September 2015

Silent, still misunderstood

What does it mean to have your own aesthetic? I do not believe it means to be famous or well-known. I see it as a way to describes you as an artist. Not having an aesthetic does not mean you aren’t a strong artist. It means you are still discovering yourself and haven’t found a path that suits your needs.  It may be hard. It may be difficult. At the end of the day knowing who you are as a performer/choreographer/etc. is rewarding. When you get there you’ll know.

The most difficult part of knowing who you are as an artist, being comfortable in your skin is being labeled as another. I have a hard time being ‘labeled.’ Maybe, it has something to do with the color of my skin, being a female or looking younger than I am. Daily, I get labeled as something, which I’m not. When I am in my element (dance) I want to be free to explore and not be categorized into a particular box. What I have learned, is that if people are confused by your artistry they will place you in a box of race. I do make politically driven works; I also create dances from my life experiences.

I wonder if people know that some artists want to create work that confuses and makes you think. Does this mean I solely create dances of this nature? Or does it mean that I may be well-rounded and this is only a portion of who I am? Coming to see a show where I perform one selection from my repertoire doesn’t mean you understand my aesthetic. My aesthetic may not be complete. My aesthetic might be explorative. There is a possibility that my aesthetic hasn’t been found. As an educator, I tend to want my viewers to be observant and learn from my work . Meaning, I give you a little and you have to come to your own conclusion.  Please be open and view the dance as if the cover (RED) doesn’t have a title. I am more than meets the eye.

About The Author

Erika "Big Red" Stowall is a choreographer and performer from Detroit, MI. Currently she serves as Artistic Director of Big Red Danke productions, and teaches at various locations in the Metro-Detroit area. Her current dance companies are Big Red Wall and Red Pumps.