Irena Ponizova

"Some days I am more wolf than woman, and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild." - Nikita Gill.  

The theme of sisterhood is one that is very close to my heart. I started creating this piece exactly a year ago at a time when I was fresh out of school and felt an urgency to get back into the studio.  Over the summer I developed an obsession with reading novels that had strong female leads so naturally when it came time to create something, the themes of womanhood and feminism were on the forefront of my mind.  I look at women who are leaders, intellectuals, athletes, healers, mothers and entertainers, women who are unapologetically themselves and I feel that it is my duty as a woman to follow in their footsteps.  To be the most authentic version of myself without falling victim to factors like insecurity, jealousy and submissiveness that are not only damaging to ourselves as individuals but to womanhood as a whole.  With all this inspiration I was bursting, but still I found myself in a hard place.  I created this piece over a period of time where as a "twenty-something" year old woman, I felt as though I was being undermined, taken advantage of, or unappreciated in various social and professional environments.  In retrospect, I think this piece was a direct response to all those feelings.  

When we got into the studio for our first rehearsal I created what would probably end up being the climax of the piece because it stemmed from the loudest and clearest image I had in my mind.  I had put together something that was aggressively physical and surprisingly animalistic. Using a series of solos, duets, trios and full ensemble moments the dancers transform through a spectrum of movements that range from pedestrian to pure animosity. At times they take on the role of the domesticated woman, the temptress, the bad girl. At other times they move like cats, monkeys or birds.  I used this idea throughout the process to enable my dancers and myself to generate most of the movements and imagery that helped develop the piece. While there are moments where the dancers seem isolated from one another they eventually come together and move as a pack, supporting and leading each other. This is how they become strong.

Let's Growl is a work that seeks to reveal how a woman's call to be a leader, fighter and creator was ingrained deep inside her bones long before society told her otherwise.



Photo by: Mary Patsiatzis

Choreographer: Irena Ponizova, Dancer: Jessica Germano