While most may believe the ending of a dance is naturally the last part to be created, that actually rarely happens with my work. I usually know how I want a piece to end sometime near the beginning of the process. I recall, for example, making Indulge – the idea for the ending of the dance actually came up in our first brainstorming session between video artist Colby Hoke, dancer Natalee Campbell, and myself. (If you haven’t yet seen Indulge, you’ll just have to trust me that it is a memorable ending – involving the consumption of almost an entire red velvet cake…)
So, true to form, the ending for Finding Place occurred to me rather early in our process, though I hadn’t had the chance to map out the exact choreography with the dancers until this (our seventh) rehearsal. Seeing the material with our music, with all those dancers, it just looked better than I could have imagined! The projected video is also a huge part of the ending especially; we will be projecting an image of El Anatsui’s Group Photo throughout the closing of the work. The dancers become the living embodiment of this sculpture installation; they bring those ideas about community and who we associate with to life. I’m sorry that the dancers will not be able to ever see the work in its full realization, but that is the plight of the live concert dancer. You can watch videos of the work after the fact, but it is never quite as memorable as being there in the moment. I’m just so grateful there continue to be wonderful dancers to choose to perform and create those moments (even while sacrificing ever seeing them for themselves).
As we come closer to the end of our process, we also began nailing down all those other details for the performance, like costumes. While I initially contemplated ocean-themed costuming (blues, teals, and greens in flowing fabrics), I had a few dancers try on some jumpsuits in the Code f.a.d. costume arsenal, and for some reason those just hit a nerve. Now to complete the idea by finding jumpsuits for a dozen dancers (perhaps minus our one man who will surely be fine in pants and a shirt)… A few of the jumpsuits and rompers found can be seen in the photo above; I can only have faith we’ll find enough that function together by the big premiere.
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)
The premiere of Finding Place will be Saturday, July 7, 2012 at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Performances will be held at 2pm and 3pm; visit codefadcompany.org for more info.