Self Help/
Dances with Symptoms



To create the short movement study Self Help, I gave myself three directives: (1) contrast extreme movement and contemplation; (2) investigate the breaking of movement, and its relationship to poetic structure and sense of whole; and (3) dance with symptoms (soliciting suggestions from housemates, who came up with rather comic examples). I was curious about the challenge to make movement both with and against a very potent short poem by Katie Peterson, “Self Help.”  Movement vocabulary and structure of the work were inspired by elements of Madrid choreographer Elena Córdoba’s Sin correa (Without a leash, 2000). Reflection on a concussion I sustained earlier in the year also factored into my choreographic choice-making.


Self Help/ Dances with Symptoms

Choreography, voice and performance: Eryn Rosenthal
Text: “Self Help,” by Katie Peterson
Betty Pease Studio Theater
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


© Eryn Rosenthal, 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Note: Katie Peterson’s poem “Self Help” appeared alongside Richard Deacon’s drawing “Illuminate My Throat” (2014) in “A Picture and a Poem” section of T: The New York Times Style Magazine on April 3, 2014.

Illuminate My Throat and Self Help 464x600 Self Help/ Dances with Symptoms

(The text that’s cut off on line 17 of the poem above is “butterfly,”).

“Illuminate My Throat,” by Richard Deacon, 2014. © Richard Deacon, 2014. Felt pen on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. Poetry editor: Meghan O’Rourke. Art editor: Gay Gassmann.


Self Help/ Dances with Symptoms | 2014 | Projects