Take Flight

Written by Trifecta Student Intern Betsy Lynch

On November 7th, Trifecta performed an original full-length production, “Take Flight” at Takeda Pharmaceuticals.  For this performance, we paired with Takeda to tell the stories of veterans and family members their employed there.  We interviewed the service men and women about their experience in the military.  The choreographers were then tasked with creating pieces that reflected the stories and the themes they encompassed.  

As a Student Intern for the Trifecta Dance Collective, I was tasked with creating a dance based on an employee’s story involving her grandmother who was a nurse in the Philippines during World War II.  I started the process by meeting with Katie and her mother to discuss her grandmother.  They told me stories of this feisty, no-funny-business, woman who became a military nurse to be closer to her family.  I loved the way their eyes lit up when they spoke about her.  They told me about her various experiences in the Philippines and how it impacted her life.  She was an amazing woman who did her best to serve her country  I knew that I wanted to make a truly special dance to honor her memory.  

The choreography process was a bit different than I was used to because I had never based it off a real person before.  Usually, I just work with themes or movements that I think go with the music.  But this opportunity to choreograph for Trifecta gave me a chance to step outside of my comfort zone.  Two things formed the base of my process: 1) Katie’s grandmother had taken care of many prisoners of war who she referred to as “her boys” and 2) apparently she had a habit of crossing her legs and circling her ankle.  I wanted my choreography to reflect a person, so her habit became the very first bit of choreography that I came up with.  Everything else sprouted from that movement and I was able to piece together the entire dance from there.  The idea of “her boys” became the theme of the piece.  I was there for the filming of three of the stories, one thing that I noticed about all of them is that they featured this comradery between veterans.  The nurses were no exception.  I tried to capture that connection between the nurses and the soldiers alike in this piece.  

Overall, it was an honor to choreograph for this show and be able to tell these stories through dance.  Trifecta is very grateful to be given this opportunity to create and perform dances based on stories that are very near to many of the Takeda employees hearts.

Carrie Patterson