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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Osborne Audio Clip and Transcript

Osborne Audio Clip

Interviewer: Jeff Friedman

JF: When you say, "How it makes you feel," what are the feelings that you were, you are reaching towards, in dancing?

AO: Well, every dancer, I think, has a certain range of things they can do.  You know, certain tricks you can perform, or certain extensions – not, I don't mean leg extensions – but your body and your movement capability is extended to its limit, or to its extreme.  And to reach that point within a piece is an exciting place, because it's a dangerous place.  You know, it's out on the edge.  And that's where the excitement, I think, comes across.  As a dancer, it's certainly where the excitement is, 'cause you're testing yourself.  You're gonna, I'm gonna jump of this cliff.  Am I going to fly or am I not going to fly? And you jump and you fly, and hey! This is wonderful, you know? That's generally how I felt about dancing, period.

In fact, choreographers have asked me to calm down a little bit, you know.  (Chuckles) Step back from this one.  Walk through this one.  Fly through this one.  Walk through this one.  You know, to offer different dynamics was absolutely necessary.  Too much of a big splat is just a big splat.  So I learned a lot in that respect in José's company.  José was a great one for trimming, trimming the emotions and the movement, you know.  He wanted, "Just give me the movement.  I'll create the movement that will create the emotion." And then of course, performance time comes around and, and that gets added, you know.  And he expected it to be added.  He knew it would be added.  Just because of the excitement of doing what you're doing, he knew that enough would be added.  He didn't have to add it.  You know, the movement itself would create it, you know.  Turning your head and looking at a, at a dead person, or supposedly you're looking at a dead person, or an alive person, just the idea alone is going to spark something in you. So, basically the movement built what he wanted.  And that's the way he worked, and that's the way I learned to appreciate movement, I think.  Are we at the bottom of this or are we just adding?

JF: Umhmm.

AO: (musing) Yeah.  I had, I had, I feel like I worked with some really wonderful people.  I was, I feel very lucky to have worked with whom I've worked.

 ©Museum of Performance + Design

Aaron Osborne
Osborne Audio Clip and Transcript