Senior Dance Show Opens
Double-degree fifth-year Tatyana Tenenbaum’s dance concert, Carcharodon, promises to show more than just her choreographic ability. Tenenbaum, a composition major in the Conservatory, wants to combine her two main focuses, dance and music, to create a show that is “as homemade as possible,” as printed in the events calendar.
“I wanted to make a piece about sharks,” she told me one sunny afternoon as we sat on the grass in Wilder Bowl, “It didn’t end up being about sharks, it ended up being about me.”
Though Tenenbaum has long been involved in music, she is a relative newcomer to dance, only having studied it after coming to college. But as anyone who saw her perform in the Dianne McIntyre winter term project or in the Spring Back dance concert will attest, her inexperience didn’t show.
She began to write music even before she knew how to write down what it was she came up with. Figuring out the way music worked was a passion of hers, one that was encouraged by the piano teachers with whom she later studied.
Tenenbaum originally came to Oberlin as an Arts and Science student, despite having composed music throughout her whole life. In her second semester on campus, she entered the double-degree program. She described the beginnings of her formal training in music composition as an “intellectual head rush,” but after a while, she began to feel like she was caught in a creative rut.
“I closed my eyes and I saw my body moving in my head. And that’s when I realized the information I was trying to convey was cross-modal.”
Feeling secure in her compositional abilities allowed her to experiment with dance. Through projects like Ensemble 46, a music and dance improvisation group, and a semester in Trinity/La MaMa, an arts program in New York City, she tried to combine her mind and her body.
Carcharodon is different. “I just created,” she said.
Though everything in the piece has meaning for her, she is not concerned with the audience understanding it. As the first piece where “the composition was the means instead of the end to creating the piece” she knows this is a big step in her development as an artist.
I would have to agree.