I know we’re behind on our blog posts… know we are so busy working on this new piece, that blogging just slipped my mind! I’m ready to update on all this progress, though, starting from our first rehearsal with all our extra “guest” dancers.
Since so much of El Anatsui’s work is about community, Code f.a.d. decided to expand our community for this show: we have invited 10 guest dancers to join our 4 company members for this performance. Fourteen dancers?! Wow. It is so inspiring to work with all these dancers each week, and to think they have chosen to work with me – that means so much to me… I feel so supported in this art-making.
So, to briefly introduce you to our cast, we have:
Christina – company member, working with me for 6 years now…
Jill – company member, lately was on sabbatical since she moved away, but we are so excited to have her back (slightly closer in South Boston, Virginia) since she has also been around since the beginning – 6 years ago
Kelley – company member, joining in Code f.a.d.’s first “official” audition 4 years ago
Kristina – apprentice for Code f.a.d.’s 2011-12 season; we are excited to have her perform in this as her first show with us!
And the “guests”
Jo, Jen, Danni, Jacqui, Josie, Euijin, Alex, Corinne, Kirsten, and Bronchez
You’ll be learning more about these folks in future posts…
On to our first rehearsal:
This was a “get to know you” type of day even though I have worked with the majority of our guests (many NCSU student dancers); the other Code f.a.d. dancers had not met them – and at least one was new to us all (welcome back to the U.S., Danni)! We had a company technique class (and other CFC dancers Brooks and Gerren joined in, even though they cannot be in this performance with us), then we worked on some of the “big dance phrases” for the work. Starting with the tougher stuff, I figured.
My favorite part of this rehearsal, though, was the second half where we really got into the content of the piece. Dancers each thought of one way in which they define community, and they each came up with a movement to illustrate that definition. (There were guidelines, of course; I told the dancers they were not allowed to move their feet in the movement – as if they were glued to the floor.) Once each dancer found their movement definition of community, they taught each other the movements and we made one long phrase of “glued-feet gestures.”
Here is a portion of that phrase as we started working on performing in a cannon:
This isn’t a final version by any means, but I’m so excited to get all this material from our dancers and to start forming the work! More updates and video clips are sure to come as we continue work. I’ll leave you with this final thought – a title for this El Anatsui inspired work came to me following this rehearsal (as I was lying in bed, almost asleep – thankfully I wrote it down!)… Finding Place.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy my chronicle of our journey – Finding Place.
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)