There, Her

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Ashbrook, Natalie
Vasquez, Sabrina

Ashbrook, Natalie. 2018. There, Her -- 18th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 33


This work is a choreographed dance duet. The premise of the work is the choreographer’s own struggle with an anxiety disorder, in a way to encompass the experience of someone with this mental health problem. This piece was not only created to bring the concept of mental illness to light but also to put it in a way that the audience can understand how anxiety feels in the mind. Another major theme of the work is the difference between being unmedicated for this issue and being able to have control over anxiety with the help of medication. And despite the fact that medication can aid in functioning with it, anxiety is a part of someone. The process of creating this work was a method of therapy for myself. As the choreographer, I had to come to terms with accepting that this was how I have to live, but that it does not incapacitate me. Most of the inspiration during the process was that one half of the duet is the anxiety and the other is the person who suffers from it, so it was necessary to work in a lot of partnering work. This is any kind of movement that involves lifts and weight sharing, to evoke feelings of being pressured or controlled. The participants worked very hard with me to find a balance between the two of them so that the movement looks sudden but has the control and power on both sides of the choreography. The piece comes to a conclusion with carrying this weight but not being weighed down by it.

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First place winner of exhibition/performance at the 18th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 6, 2017.