|Margaret Mullin. Photo by Rex Tranter.|
My inspiration for this piece is the recent passing of a family friend. It started as a story ballet of sorts, with a clear narrative element. As I choreographed it became a healing process — my own personal way of putting beauty back into the world after seeing such suffering. His passing is central to my work and that’s reflected in the title of the ballet; it’s really about being lost in the light he created — a tribute to the good that someone left behind.
Are there choreographers you particularly respect or find inspiring?
I’ve really been feeling that this work is an homage to Antony Tudor, so that’s been my focus. He’s such an emotional choreographer; his work has such sensitivity to it, without always needing or using a strong narrative. I did my first Tudor ballet when I was still in high school. It’s the most graceful I’ve ever felt as a dancer. I sometimes feel that Tudor’s choreographic language has been lost in recent years and for me this is one opportunity to bring it back. His aesthetic holds a large dose of humanity, which is tremendously important to me as a choreographer, and is a reminder of how glorious it can be to be a ballet dancer. I hope my work will allow the dancers in my own ballet to feel their most beautiful, as Mr. Tudor’s work did for me. I decided against the Marco & Victor bit because I don’t want to risk sounding insulting to them.
How do you see yourself as a choreographer?
PNB does works by the greatest choreographers in the world. To have my work presented on this scale at the age of 23, being asked to create a ballet for the Company at this stage in my career, was completely unexpected. It’s pushing me to really think of myself as a dancer and choreographer sooner than I thought. I always thought, “I would really love to choreograph one day”…and one day came really soon!
What are your goals for this piece and then what’s next for you?
I’d be happy to take on most choreographic projects that come my way. I’m really driven based on the dancers I’m working with — hungry dancers that want to grow artistically. That’s why I enjoyed choreographing for the PNB students so much in previous years. I want this piece to highlight human connection and to celebrate the elegance of this wonderful ballet company. My main goal, however, is for this to be a great experience for all the hard-working people involved and to use the opportunity myself to grow as an artist and choreographer. I want to provide a beautiful vehicle for my fellow dancers that will showcase their talents and grace. I also hope that the audience will feel uplifted. I needed grace in my life — that’s really what this piece is about.
|A sketch of Margaret’s costumes for Lost in Light.
Sketches by Alexis Mondragon.