The Intricacy of Addiction

This is a clip of a dance performed in Season 5 of the TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. The piece was titled “Addiction” and was choreographed to the music of Sara Bareilles’ song, “Gravity.” Not only is this a beautiful dance, but it so artistically paints the struggles of addiction, whether it be to alcohol, drugs, a lover, etc. Notice how the female dancer runs to her oppressor in the beginning. She chooses to go to him, though she remains emotionless as the dance begins. Her run to him is aggressive and magnetic. She does not appear to be happy about the contact, yet she knows she needs it. His movement begins slowly, and then quickens progressively, much like addiction.

Shortly after, the male makes motions as if to give her life. By the pull of his hand, she springs forward. He makes her feel alive, and she proceeds to fall back into him. Most of the dance consists of the male artfully maneuvering the female. It is a constant rhythm of rising and falling. She runs from him and he catches up. They literally leap and bow in unison, representing the intricacy behind the pull that addiction can have on a person’s life. The addiction is with that person when they’re at their lowest, and yet highest points too. And this is one reason that addiction can be so hard to dispel.

Notice at the line of the song, “All I still know is that you’re keeping me down,” the male is literally prohibiting her outstretched hand. He also covers her mouth multiple times in the dance, representing how difficult it can be to reach out and get help. Also notice that right after holding her down, the male helps to lift her back up. He gently catches her falling head and lifts her up to control her again. This reflects the way in which an addiction not only hurts, but supports a person. Addiction is a tangled web of emotions, desires, and will. It is not black and white, and this dance illustrates that beautifully. 

Finally, note the most important part: she breaks free from him in the end. It was a battle, and not an easy one in the slightest, but by the time the lights come up on these dancers, the female is standing alone, not facing him, not looking back. She is moving forward.