Week 3 (as crazy as it seems) marks the halfway point to our first performance of dances with Dear Nature. What a quick process! We’ve made great progress so far, but I’m also starting to panic a little during this week – wondering how we’ll have time to finish everything before the shows. I am smart enough to realize, though, that panicking will not help my efforts, so nothing to do but get to work.
We begin our mid-week, evening rehearsal with a couple runs of “Ocean,” and I can tell Natalee and Brooks have practiced their roles outside of rehearsal. It is a definite perk that those two are roommates! They able to get together easily to at least think through new material, and you can just tell they know each other well and so make for great duet partners. This section of the dance looks pretty ready for performance already – minus a few “forgotten parts” that we promptly review.
And it is on to new material! Today’s focus is to learn another trio that will fit into the last portion of Julia Price’s Sun Kiss. The “Phrase in 3’s” already had some falling or collapsing into the floor is its movement vocabulary and “Ocean” added to that theme of grounding into the earth with much of its opening material. So, this led me to explore keeping the dancers absorbed in this lower level – in this case by having the dancers laying down for almost the entire section of dance.
This is a very pieced-together section, rather than a phrased section. That means instead of teaching everyone a dance phrase to then manipulate into a trio, I’m working with one dancer at a time, giving them their choreography one movement at a time. And nothing is “counted” to the music in this section! Each dancer learns a bit, then I look at all three performing together to tweak timing or orders of movements to insure the dancers are not completely running (well, rolling) into each other. (Remember we are working in a small space; this section takes place on our 6′ x 10′ section of floor.)
Eventually we make it through the trio, but it has taken up most of our rehearsal time this night. We’ll have to save reviewing our other sections for the weekend rehearsal. Until then…
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)