We begin week two of this process with three new dancers! On August 10, the company held auditions for this season, and invited Krystal Lynch, Anna M. Maynard, and MacKenzie Buice to join Code f.a.d. as apprentice dancers. So this means they are coming to all our rehearsals and learning parts in the new piece as it is being created. This is a great learning opportunity for them, of course, but it also means I see the choreography on more dancers, each with their own nuances, which can only help me to really focus in on what the core of the movement is about.
This week we spend our time first refining the “Gesture Phrase” and adding a bit of material to finish off this section of the piece. Then moved on to a new movement section I’m calling “Ocean.” This section is another duet, and I already had in my mind that Natalee and Brooks would be the ideal two dancers to perform this part. (I also have the other dancers learn the roles, though; Krystal and Anna working as one pair and Kristina and MacKenzie as another.)
“Ocean” is a combination of slow, meditative movement to a soundtrack of ocean waves crashing into the shore and more fast-paced material with a slight humorous edge, performed to Jessica Temple’s poem Beach in Winter.
Right away this section feels like the way to open the the entire dance. I tend to enjoy starting off my works slowly, to really encourage the audience to settle in and delve into our world. You won’t see dancers doing huge leaps across the stage at the start of one of my dances (not usually, anyway – but never say never). I feel an emotional attachment to this section of the dance, and I’m definitely hoping the audience will, too.
Maybe it is the sound of the ocean, maybe it is the sentimental value of the beach (particularly in winter) to me and my life. (John and I were, afterall, married in winter at the NC coast, and we continue to return most every New Year’s.) It will take more watching to see if the movement will hold up to those without this same attachment to the setting, but for now, it seems right.
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)
above: a portion of the Ocean duets in rehearsal