Travis Guerin is in his fourth season with Kansas City Ballet and his second year choreographing for New Moves. Not only is Travis a talented dancer, but he also composes his own music! Read below to learn more about Travis’ process in creating his work.
“A lonely physicist launches into space, searching for something, anything, greater than what we have here. In the end, the physicist realizes that the most important thing is simply to find a place to call home.” – Travis Guerin on his piece, The Physicist
Q: Tell me a little bit about your piece and the inspiration behind it.
A: I’ve been fascinated with space recently: black holes, antimatter, nebulae and planets. The whole idea that we’re stuck on this rock, hurtling at impossible speeds through a black void is a little frightening to me. I created a story in my mind about a lonely physicist who blasts off into space in search of something, anything, greater than what we have here. Once out there, the physicist finds nothing. In the end, the physicist realizes that the most important thing is to be home; to find a place to call home.
Q: How did you decide on the music?
A: I compose my own music, so I wanted to create something that felt vast, spacey, and a little empty at times. I made many pieces of music and picked three that I thought would best convey my viewpoint, and had a nice progression. It starts out somewhat bleak, heavy and intense. Then, in the second movement, it gets much softer but still carries an edge. The last movement is the softest; meant to embody the idea that home really is where the heart is, and each day is what we choose to make it.
Q: Once you chose the music, what was your process like creating the choreography?
A: I had developed this story, but I didn’t want the choreography to be literal at all. The first movement is mainly aggressive movement with intricate patterns and lots of weaving through formations. In a way, this can represent discontent – moving through the daily rat race. The second movement is all partnering; finding someone to dance with and to share your triumphs and your defeats. The last movement is the lightest in both song and choreography, and could represent finally coming to peace with oneself and one’s way of life. I tried not to tell an explicit narrative, but more to convey notions, a progression of feelings and ideas.
Check out the video below to watch a short clip of Travis’ piece!