RED HOOK — Rebekah Windmiller, a local dancer and choreographer, wanted to tell a story but she didn’t want to focus on typical body parts – the hands, the upper body or the arms – to express her emotion.
Instead, she wanted to explore the legs and how they could operate as a catalyst in her performance showing the roles of women - some chosen, some not.
Her solo performance ‘Beholden’ will portray “an inherent conflict of what it means to be a woman,” she said, focusing on movements of the legs.
A Red Hook local, Windmiller said she designed the performance specifically for the space at the Cora Studio Theater on Richards Street where ‘Beholden’ will be staged on April 12 and 13.
Windmiller said she saw the legs of women as a body part that is constantly under scrutiny from men, culture, society, other women and the world.
Through costumes, set design and lighting, Windmiller wanted the audience to keep focus on her legs in her exploration of the female persona and the roles thrust upon them.
Windmiller also wanted to delve into the vulnerabilities of women, using her costume to allow layers of the persona to slip away and expose a true nature.
“I’m always just removing,” never putting things back on, said Windmiller.
The title ‘Beholden’ came from a feeling of obligation to fulfill a role, but also feeling conflicted about them. As an artist and a mother, Windmiller said she often faces this struggle in her day-to-day responsibilities.
“Women are beholden to having to present themselves in different ways,” she said.
But she wanted to look at roles that did not necessarily represent her persona – the high society woman, the movie star and celebrities who are beholden to the image they have to keep up.
“You’re obligated to these different things and in time they’re very much in conflict with one another,” she said.