Laurie Sefton, Director/Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer

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Laurie Sefton’s Artistic Statement

 My work is inextricably personal, as all choreography must be as it flows through its creator both physically and intellectually. Yet, I feel that I must strive to communicate with ever greater and wider audiences including the dance neophyte in order to expand access to our intangible art form. I am conflicted because I would prefer to avoid the trap of becoming so personal as to be introspective and completely obscure. However, I believe that the intimacy achieved in this process is undeniable. My work is personal, sexualized and issue based all at once. It is not about what it “feels” like on the body; it is about an expressive body, which is not always comfortable.

I focus on conveying complex ideas such as loss, confusion, redemption, power, struggle, and sexuality. This is well within the realm of the dance medium, as I firmly believe dance has the ability to convey complex ideas, which requires stepping outside the common conceptions of boy-girl relationships and dance for the sake of dance. 

It is no accident that Clairobscur is the title of my company, as I build multi layered choreographic works with each layer containing a deeper description and expression of unique aspects of each impetus for the work. My process of choreography begins by choosing issues as the primary form of subject matter, such as a societal, or personal issue. I next search for the gender uniqueness of each issue, sexualize the content or discover the sexuality of each issue and begin to build the initial layers of each work. I then ingrain an additional aspect to each work, a subtext or unspoken, inferred shadow, which is often my own deep emotional connection to the issue. I strive to imbue each work with the color, shadow and light of each issue, thereby leaving a trail of emotions, ideas and content for various and individual viewers of my work.

Each work I choreograph is an opportunity to push myself creatively. While I build on ideas and themes that impact our everyday lives, each piece is like starting over – looking at things through a new lens, a new perspective. I infuse each work with a great deal of content, which leads to complex and dense choreography, and an opportunity for many and varied viewers to find personal interest and impact in my work.