Behind The Scenes: Interview with Choreographer Lauren Pajer

Member Lauren Pajer is creating a new work for Cambridge Dance Company that explores the concept of resistance.   Hear about her vision, process and challenges and see a sneak peek from rehearsal.

Question: What is the inspiration for your piece?

Answer: My piece started out with a concept that was a little more personal about trying not to go back to a vice, or something you know you shouldn’t have but want.  I started working with that concept, and I realized that it wasn’t coming up with anything that was driving me.  So I turned to the music.  The music is this really beautiful piece by Biber (not Justin!).  I really started to listen to it, and listened to the levels of music, and how the music keeps building layers and layers.  I started to work with that a little bit more in my movement.  I just like the feeling of pushing and pulling and used that inspiration as opposed to a story.

Question: Describe your choreography process

Answer:  My process is a little crazy, and I apologized to the dancers for it!  I have a very small space to work with in my apartment, so I tend to think about these things in my head at work, or I’ll flit around my apartment.  So when I finally get a chance to move into a bigger space, I don’t always love what I’ve come up with when I set it on the dancers.  I really like to sit and digest it over some time and come back to it with a new eye and try something new.  I also really like to run it by my younger sister who is also sort of an inspiration for me in dance, and get her opinion on things.  She usually has some really good ideas for me on how I can improve it.  But it is mostly just trial and error, and seeing how what I’ve come up with in my head works on the dancers’ bodies or doesn’t, or in general how it looks, and going from there. Q

Question: What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Answer: I think my biggest challenge has just been finding time to sit down with the music and with my thoughts and work it out how I think it would look.  Also, not having space in my apartment to jump around and try things out.  

Question: What is your vision for the rest of the piece?

Answer:  I’m actually excited for the next part.  Right now everything has been pretty stationary in the middle; we haven’t really done any big movement.  I have an idea for this big sweeping across the floor where we kind of take people with you and then leave people behind and come back together.  I’m excited to put more big movement into the piece, and we’ll see where it goes from there.