Forward Motion, 2014.
A work choreographed by Mathew Heggem for a concert at Goucher College, Baltimore, MD., as part of the Goucher Summer Arts Institute.
Man with jacket comes home. Lyrics state, “Mama take this badge off of me.”
What's his story? Where is he? He’s home.
He's struggling with something about who he is.
The movement is mostly fluid, a shift between two dominant dynamic states, weighted and lightness, with poetic gestures, and a synced relationship to the tone and message of the music, a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knockin On Heavens Door" performed by Antony & The Johnsons.
There's a weight he carries and he's made it work. This piece is somehow about work.
But, it still is a fight.
We all face moments like this. Moments when we are lost, when things seem insurmountable, and it wears many faces, sometimes depression, sometimes anxiety, fear or anger.
And yet we somehow, in our own grace and chaos, find a way to move through life.
My personal connection to this work as a choreographer comes under the context by which this piece was made. It was crafted during the peak of my struggles with anxiety, the physical impact felt like death sometimes (or at least that’s what I let myself believe), and the fear it caused was crippling.
I wanted to create a window to let this pass. I wanted to open a door for someone new to emerge. And, I wanted to share my story in dance.
Overall, the work certainly has a sad tone, especially in concert with the music selection, and in light of the personal story behind it. Some people don't find their forward motion. Some do. And perhaps for some, it's both: that in order to move on, you need to let go.
In essence, what is your ascension to heaven is a moment of release.