While the end of the calendar year marks only the halfway mark of the Code f.a.d. Company season, I feel perhaps we are overdue for a moment of reflection on the company’s accomplishments during this year (the tail end of our 4th and now the first half of our 5th seasons). I am personally taking some time to reflect on my life this evening, so why not do the same for this huge portion of my life that is Code f.a.d.?
2012 Code f.a.d. Company Highlights
Gerren takes Penelope for a dip in the hot tub!
January 1: Several company members helped dancer Gerren Mobley celebrate his birthday with a trip to Emerald Isle, NC. (This was not an official company function, but why not remember some beach fun?) I recall some dancing and handstands in the sand, playing Wii Rock Band, and lots of other fun that we may not want recorded in print…
January 26-28: The company premieres Calvin Klein: Casual Friday and Destination by Michael Kors at the Greensboro Fringe Festival – a great opportunity to test out a few of the new sections of Fashion Briefs before the BIG premiere in March.
Brooks in “YSL, Fashion Manifesto”
February 11: Fashion Briefs photoshoot in the freezing cold on NC State’s Centennial Campus. Looking back, I think the cold was worth dealing with, since we got some great shots!
February 29-March 3: I travel to James Madison University for the American College Dance Festival Association’s Mid-Atlantic Regional and teach about 50 collegiate dancers portions of A Dolce & Gabbana Doubleheader. (Jill also is in attendance and serves as an impromptu teaching assistant for the class warm-up.)
Natalee during the Vera Wang film shoot
March 5: Film shoot for Vera Wang: The Dress at Aldersgate Church in Durham, NC. We got almost everything accomplished in about an hour and a half, but then the zipper on Christina’s dress broke during a particularly enthusiastic back shoulder roll! I finished up the evening with a few close-ups of Natalee, but we knew there would be some missing pieces we’d have to get later after fixing the costume.
March 6-11: About half the company makes the long drive to Birmingham, Alabama, to perform sections of Fashion Briefs in a shared concert with local company, Sanspointe. This marked the first time I have traveled back to perform in Alabama since graduating from the University of Alabama in 2000; the concert was both well-attended and well-received! Read a short review here.
March 18: Finished up the Vera Wang film shoot (we got the dress fixed while in Birmingham) in the studio at North Carolina Dance Institute!
“Calvin Klein: Casual Friday”
March 19-25: This is the big one – the premiere of the full, evening-length version of Fashion Briefs! This was our first show in the Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphy School in downtown Raleigh, and we loved having a “home” space for the entire week. In total, Fashion Briefs premiered with 12 sections – one section completely on film (Vera Wang: The Dress) and most of the other 11 including live dance and video projections. While I wouldn’t rule out adding another designer in the future, for now the “live version” feels complete. The next step for Fashion Briefs is to create more dance film sections; ultimately, I hope to create a film version for all 12 parts (so that means 10 more sections to make as we travel into 2013). If you aren’t sure when the second film section happened, just keep reading! *One of my favorite memories of this concert was our “preview” night on Thursday. Lots of NCSU students were in the audience this evening – members of the Arts Village, a few NCSU Dance Company dancers, and most of my dancers in Panoramic Dance Project! I loved being able to share this work with them all, and I hope we can continue to expose the collegiate (and even younger) audience to modern dance.
March 30: Panoramic Dance Project Concert at NC State University! This obviously is not a Code f.a.d. Company event, but Gerren and myself had choreography in the show. Gerren set his three-part modern-jazz work Testimonial on the company, and I created a new Butoh-inspired work (titled Journey) for four student dancers. Perhaps Code f.a.d. will perform Journey in a future season…
April 18: In preparation for our summer project with the NC Museum of Art, I toured the El Anatsui exhibition with Education Coordinator Kristin Smith. The artwork was amazingly inspiring; it made me excited to begin the next creation!
May & June: Busy creating and rehearsing Finding Place. We also created this blog during these months, so go back and read our first posts about the Finding Place process if you haven’t!
“Finding Place” at the NC Museum of Art
July 7: Our work inspired by the artwork of El Anatsui premieres as part of the NC Museum of Art’s Summer Dance Series! In this showing, Finding Place was about 15 minutes in length, and at the time, I wasn’t sure if it would continue to grow within the Code f.a.d. repertory. Not long after, though (and partially because of feedback received at our performances), I decided I did want to continue with and expand the piece. As you may already know, we are adding more stories, more dancing, and some film segments to turn Finding Place into our next evening-length work (to premiere in early 2013). Overall, this first part of our Finding Place experience came at just the right time to energize myself (and perhaps the entire company) as we prepared to enter our 5th season. We worked in a very fast and focused way to create the work and invited in several guest dancers for the museum performances. The energy and contributions of these new dancers (a variety of community/professional dancers and NCSU student dancers) really helped shape the work and push the company into a new process of more collaborative dance-making.
August 6-10: During my “vacation” to New York, I (of course) did a bit of company work, as well – amongst taking dance and aerial yoga classes and seeing shows! Monica and I shot the first film segment of Finding Place in Central Park; you can read more about her contribution to the piece in the August 10 blog entry here.
September 7: Julep is performed at Meredith College as part of the NC Dance Festival tour. (It is our third time on the tour!)
“Finding Place” at Vault Yoga
September 13 & 14: SPARKcon – downtown Raleigh’s Creativity Festival! Finally we get to perform (at least part of) Indulge again! Part of the SPARKcon Opening Ceremonies, Code f.a.d. – along with two guest dancers – takes Indulge to the Raleigh Amphitheater stage. This was a great opportunity to bring our work to a large (and fairly non-dance) audience, since we performed directly after the fashionSPARK Runway Show. The following night we then performed a smaller version of Finding Place in Vault Yoga’s studio space on Fayetteville Street. These smaller, more informal SPARKcon showings are a great way to really interact with your audience, and I’m happy the company was able to be involved in our 5th SPARKcon this year.
September 28-30: After a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise needed funds, we head to the NC coast to shoot the next Fashion Briefs dance film! The forecasted rain luckily held off until we got all our needed scenes done for Destination by Michael Kors. Thank you so much to all who contributed to the campaign! We are a bit behind on film editing and mailing out your other Code f.a.d. goodies (buttons, coffee mugs, and photos), but you can expect to receive all we’ve promised you in early 2013.
October 12: Two Horton/Code f.a.d. technique classes taught to dancers at Northern Guilford High School in Greensboro. The students did very well learning a bit of Julep phrasework, as well, as a teaser for the upcoming NCDF tour performances.
October 19-21: I attended the NC Dance Alliance’s Annual Event in Greensboro, NC, to represent Code f.a.d. Company and the NCDA itself (as I am a new board member to this state-wide dance organization). It is always wonderful to catch up with other dancers and dance educators from across the state and keep Code f.a.d. in their radar even if we are not performing in the concert that weekend.
backstage before the UNC-G concert
October 26: NCDF tour concert at Appalachian State University in Boone. Kristina, Christina, and I also taught a 1950’s & space-themed technique and improvisation master class to local middle-schoolers as part of our tour outreach activities. (As much as I like teaching and performing, highlights of this trip also include the giant jacuzzi tub in my hotel room!)
November 2: Last NCDF tour show for 2012 – this time we are performing Julep at UNC-Greensboro’s Aycock Auditorium. Christina always loves this tour stop since she went to college (and danced) at UNC-G.
November 3: Company brunch! I made a zucchini frittata, Christina made pumpkin-chocolate balls, Jill brought supplies for pomegranate/raspberry mimosas… yum! I certainly needed a bit of a dance break after a packed fall season (that wasn’t over yet).
December 1: This was our most efficient Code f.a.d. Board of Directors’ meeting to date. Enough said.
December 6-9: We took part of Fashion Briefs to Dance Place in Washington, D.C., to perform in a split show with Human Landscape Dance. Since we’ve now done the two main modern dance venues in D.C., if we go back, I have my sights set on the Kennedy Center next time…
Code f.a.d. Holiday Party
December 22: We had our last rehearsal of 2012 (working hard on Finding Place for the big February show at the Durham Arts Council), took a few hours off, then reconvened for the annual Code f.a.d. Holiday Party!
…and that brings us to tonight, December 31, the last night of 2012, and what does it all add up to? Thinking back, more than the shows, the classes, or the rehearsals, I’m left thinking about the people that make this company what (and who) it is. Our board members, our artists, our composer, and above everything else – our dancers are the heart of Code f.a.d. Company.
While we did not “officially” begin as a company until the fall of 2008, this journey really began in the summer of 2006, when Jill, Christina, and I all met each other and danced in David Dorfman’s Underground at the American Dance Festival. During the following year, I met Gerren and Natalee through my work at NC State, and while neither of those two actually committed to Code f.a.d. when that official start date finally came – neither really stopped working with us either. (They couldn’t leave!) As we collected Kelley and Brooks through open auditions, the group started to solidify. We’ve gained a few others and lost a few that began with us through these past 4 1/2 years, though only one has really passed the test and stuck it out. (That would be Kristina, of course, who is going on her second year with the company.) All I can think is how wonderful it is to have these relationships weather the test of time – and the test of tempers, of injuries, of long car trips, and whatever else these seasons have thrown at us. I am so lucky to be a part of Code f.a.d. – to have these people in my life, and I eagerly look forward to a wonderful 2013 full of film, art, dance – and friendships. Thank you to all our fans who support what we do. I hope to see and meet more of you in the coming year, and we will do our best to continue sharing meaningful movement-based art.
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)