Lines and symmetry. Lines and symmetry. I’ve been consuming a lot of media about dance lately: documentaries, books, online blogs, magazines, Facebook memes and tons of photography. The theme of lines and symmetry is repeated like a mantra in all of them. Artistic directors, choreographers, critics and dance industry gatekeepers have their eyes trained to spot them or the absence of them: lines and symmetry. And if you are too tall, too short, too busty, too hippy, too dark and definitely too curvy (read fat) and you disrupt this edict, you’re out of line and off the stage.
Alanna Kelly says the hell with all of that. Trained in ballet and jazz technique, Alanna dances with Big Moves Bay Area’s emFATic DANCE Company. It was her 2012 piece, Hurt So Good that captured my attention. It was her lines, curves, reach, and intensity that grabbed me. Alanna knows and owns her body, and meticulously uses every inch of it’s movement to create an undeniable emotional pull with Hurt So Good. Yeah she has some serious dance chops.
Recently Alanna auditioned for the producers of the reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. She brought it! And although she wasn’t chosen as one of the finalists, she was given the respect any serious dancer deserves. By stepping into that space with her full self, Alanna is challenging the industry’s concept of “correct” lines and symmetry. Symmetry, the creation of balanced proportions, is not relegated to straight lines. Alanna proves through her talent and passion that there is balance in roundness and beauty in the lines created by bodies of all shapes and sizes. Alanna’s personal statement says it all:
I’m here to make a big fat ruckus about how much I love dance. Dance is for every body. Dance is for me. Dance is for you. Dance is for anyone and everyone. Every Body. My mother put it this way: Alanna, you are opening the heavy, bank-vault-style door between the “real” world and all the fat art and self acceptance that must come out.
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