Levi Marsman, boston Choreographer and recipient of Ballet Inc’s EMERGING CHOREOGRAPHER AWARD for 2016, is one of two guest choreographers selected to work with Urbanity Dance for their upcoming show, Urbanity NeXt! We sat down with him to talk about the work he is producing, and what it means for Urbanity and the Boston community.
Tell me a little bit about the piece you are creating. What is your inspiration?
“The piece is entitled “HEADSPACE” and will be using Philip Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach” (Knee Play 1 & Knee Play 5):
I recently have been confronted with a lot of anxiety and overthinking and a lot of people around me seem to be dealing with that same thing. Someone very close to me, in addition to those things, is also dealing with OCD and is constantly feeling disconnected with people. This music is exactly what I hear in my head if I were to put [OCD] to a score; constant interruption and unsettled thoughts when trying to focus. I want to create an abstract work that really highlights those ideas of overthinking, anxiety and a sense of loneliness.”
Do you follow a certain process when you create?
“All of my works are often inspired by the music. I have wanted to create a work to Philip Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach” for quite some time. Besides the obvious beauty, there is a certain chaos and complexity in the music that I love. It is for that reason that I have wanted to wait until I was truly inspired by something that I felt this music connected with. Now that I feel the music is completely in me, I will be able to create movement based on ideas and improv the dancers and I will create in the studio.”
Always a great time teach company class for @urbanitydance!A post shared by Lee M. (@lvmrsmn) on Feb 6, 2017 at 6:27am PST
What do you hope to leave your audience with?
“It is my hope that this piece shows us how connected we may actually be in times we feel alone….at times we could all be distracted and unsettled when we aren’t feeling love. In a time like today, we all need to know that we love and care about each other when there are people who intend to divide us.
Hopefully if the audience can see their connection to the senses of overthinking and loneliness and then later to the sense of love, that perhaps they would be more willing to show more love and empathy to others.”
What do you hope to leave your dancers with?
“I think that my style is very different from anything I have seen showcased in the beautiful performances I have seen by Urbanity. I tend to fuse a more traditional modern style with ballet and have created my own contemporary style. It is my hope that engage both their intellect and their connection as a company by focusing on their sense of need for another dancer and with this common idea.”
What excites you about working with Urbanity Dance in Particular?
“Having taught the dancers quite a bit I believe I’m learning their strengths and could challenge them as well as highlight their beauty. I am SO thrilled Betsi has chosen me for this year’s NeXt Residency as I feel we’ve become closer and closer over the years. Her passion for Urbanity is my passion for dance and she has put together the perfect group of dancers who are open and enthusiastic for a project like this. The sky is the limit with this bunch!”
For more information about Levi Marsman, classes, or bookings check out his Artist Page by clicking the following link: http://facebook.com/levimarsman He is also premiering a new work for Boston Conservatory at Berkelee Feb. 23, 24 & 25.