By Chris Becker
In the midst of a divorce, both parties often find themselves subjected not only to accusations, but also paperwork. Lots of legal paperwork. In choreographer Travis Prokop’s “Paper Trail,” which shows at Barnstorm Dance Fest in June, two dancers follow a path of carefully laid out pieces of paper. They’re sometimes aware of, sometimes oblivious to the other, playing out a mesmerizing narrative that anyone who’s been through a breakup will recognize.
“You can’t be afraid when approaching choreography,” says Prokop, 29, who recently divorced his husband of seven years. He created “Paper Trail” to show both sides of the situation, and to provide closure.
It’s heavy stuff for a former “competition kid” from New Mexico, who recalls dancing around the room after watching Hello, Dolly with his granny, and once appeared on So You Think You Can Dance. But while completing his MFA at Sam Houston State, Prokop discovered “how creative he could get with dance.” He joined NobleMotion and Hope Stone dance companies, creating work in which ordinary scenarios, like sitting in a waiting room, are transformed “in a traumatic and theatrical way.”
When not driving between his Midtown home and Lamar University, where he’s an assistant professor of dance, Prokop hangs with his Rottweiler and two cats, and continues to confront life’s challenges through art.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” he says of showing vulnerability. “But if you want to make a name for yourself, you just have to let it all out there.”