Watch Bryan Arias talk about his upcoming Scottish Ballet piece

Choreographer chats about his work ahead of Motion of Displacement premiere

Watch Bryan Arias talk about his upcoming Scottish Ballet piece

Bryan Arias / credit: Joris-Jan Bos

In Motion of Displacement, exciting up-and-coming choreographer Bryan Arias has tackled personal themes of love, loss and family. Created especially for Scottish Ballet’s upcoming Autumn Season, it marks the first time that Arias’ work has been performed in the UK.

Watch Arias talk about Motion of Displacement ahead of the work's first performance in Glasgow on Thu 24 Sep.

Motion of Displacement is inspired by Arias’ mother’s experience of leaving her native land of El Salvador at the age of 16 in search of a new life in the USA. The stories she relayed about this journey has inspired the creation of the work. This is the first of Arias’ choreographic works to deal with intensely personal topics but Arias believes there are universal themes which the audience will connect with:

'I used common themes like the loss of innocence, love conquers all, and man versus himself,' says Arias. 'There is no narrative in the work – I used these themes as a form of expression and poetry.'

Arias was born in Puerto Rico but moved with his family to America when he was eight. His work is a result of the combination of many different dance disciplines. The salsa dancing of his childhood and the hip hop and street dance of his youth combines with the skills he honed as a dancer while working with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Netherlands Dance Theatre to create an innovative mix of contemporary dance styles.

While Arias’ choreography is fluid and cutting edge, the emotions running through the work are of the utmost importance: 'The audience can expect to feel a connection with my work. The work is unique because it is created through a collaborative process with the dancers. We use our tools to become an extension of each other, creating a great deal of honesty and authenticity that comes through in the work.'

Arias developed his choreographic skills by including sections where the dancers are en pointe within Motion of Displacement, which proved to be a learning curve. 'The part en pointe in the work came from the request of [Scottish Ballet] artistic director Christopher Hampson,' he says. 'I wouldn’t normally think of utilising pointe, but I am happy that Christopher requested it. It made me think differently in movement and composition. In the work, I use it as a metaphor to what my mother thought was at the end of her journey. A sense of perfection, a quality brought when dancing en pointe.'

Scottish Ballet’s Autumn Season 2015 features Elsa Canasta by Javier de Frutos and Motion of Displacement by Bryan Arias. It will be performed at Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Thu 24–26 Sep; Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 29–Wed 30 Sep; Eden Court, Inverness, Fri 2–Sat 3 Oct; and His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, Fri 9–Sat 10 Oct.

Scottish Ballet: Elsa Canasta, Motion of Displacement and Maze

Triple-bill featuring Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta set to Cole Porter, the world premiere of Bryan Arias’ Motion of Displacement, set to music by Bach and John Adams and Maze, a new piece of work created by contemporary dancer Sophie Laplane.


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