Creative Work, Dance, Perfect 10

The Creative Process Begins

After having such a great experience creating Finding Place in response to the artwork of El Anatsui (then seen at the NC Museum of Art), I decided to embark on a similar experience this season of creating dance inspired by visual artwork. This time we will be performing in the gallery with the exhibition, so I’m very excited to be involved in a project where the audience is truly surrounded by the inspiration.

I met with Artspace to discuss the possibilities, and we settled on an early fall exhibition titled Dear Nature, with art from Natalie Abrams, Cynthia Camlin, & Mi-Sook Hur. We will perform at September’s First Friday gallery opening (Sept 6) then another, longer performance with an artist Q&A on September 18. These dates are fast approaching, so that means it is time to get to work!

I actually began processing ideas for this new work a couple months ago, but now as we begin rehearsals with the dancers this week I am opening up my process to you through this blog. This is your inside peek at my choreographic process and how a Code f.a.d. Company show comes together. Twice a week I’ll update you with my ideas for the dance, costumes, music, text, and props, and I’ll let you know what we are up to in rehearsals with photos and video clips. Don’t worry, though, there will still be plenty of surprises for you when you come to see the final product!

As I am sharing my thoughts about this new dance work, I also encourage you to share your thoughts and ask any questions you may have along the way. I love to discuss dance and my creative work, so let’s engage in a discussion. Thank you for joining (or at least following) me in this journey, and I look forward to what this blogging process will add to my process and can only imagine it will allow me to delve even deeper into my creative world.

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

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About Us, Dancers

A Day in the Life of a Code f.a.d. Dancer: Kelley Murphy

Kelley (and Jill) in "Finding Place"

Kelley (and Jill) in “Finding Place”

Editor’s note: Kelley showed up at the very first Code f.a.d. Company audition (back in the summer of 2008), and she’s been dancing with us ever since! See her perform next with the company at NC Dances: Sunday, April 28 at Cary Academy (free show at 7pm).

A day in my life would usually be pretty busy and full of constant activity! First of all, I wake up early to get my 7 year old son ready for 1st grade. Getting him dressed, fed and teeth brushed. Backpack in hand; we walk to the bus stop. Once on the bus, I walk home to get myself ready for my day.

I work during the day as a newborn photographer for a local hospital. We do in-room photo shoots of the artistic/creative type instead of old-school baby mugshots. I put on my work uniform, which consists of all black: pants, shirt, shoes and jacket. Glad to not have to think about what to wear… I grab all of my gear, double checking everything is charged up and ready to go. I am loaded down with my camera bag, flash, extra batteries, battery charger, laptop and cords. Not to mention a bottle of water and breakfast on the go!

the kids on a rare snowy day

the kids on a rare snowy day

I normally photograph around four precious newborn babies a day. After they’ve been photographed and edited, I give the parents a tear-jerking slideshow of their beautiful new baby. From here, I am usually rushing home to make sure I am in time to pick up my son from the bus stop. Once home, I am greeted by my other child, who is 16, and they both inform me that they are dying of starvation. Midday snack time!

After getting them fed and settled, we start on homework. It is already after 4pm and I have to be at my second job at 5. The teenager gets to help with the homework so I can change and get ready to teach dance for the next 3 hours. I teach modern, jazz and hip hop. I arrive home at 8pm, once again to starving kids. I cook dinner, get them showered and ready for bed. Sometimes I have some “me time,” but usually I am too tired to do anything but go to sleep myself. I always look forward to the days I have rehearsal with the company so I can get out by myself and do what I love… dancing!

-Kelley

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Creative Work, Dance, Fashion Briefs, Film, Travel

A look back at Fashion Briefs

While the majority of the company’s time is spent preparing for our next big show, Finding Place, I decided to take a break to think back to our last big show – Fashion Briefs. (Also, I just sometimes need a break from the creative process to remind myself that even though I may feel blocked at the moment, this happens with every new work and eventually the work will get finished and will premiere!) We have recently received some wonderful photos (by Siobhan Hanna Photography) from our Fashion Briefs performance in Washington, D.C., and so I’m taking this FAD Friday to share some of my favorites. *I especially love how some of the McQueen images capture the ghostly images of the late designer in the background!

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

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About Us, Dancers

A Day in the Life of a Code f.a.d. Dancer: Gerren Mobley

Gerren as Ralph Lauren

Gerren as Ralph Lauren

Editor’s note: I was introduced to Gerren soon after I began teaching at NC State University, through Dance Program Director Robin Harris. Gerren was an alum of the NCSU Dance Company and lucky for us, was still dancing and living in Raleigh after graduation! He is another one of our dancers who has been with the company since it started; he actually worked with me also for my film project Product, which began before Code f.a.d. was “officially” founded.

It is difficult to say what a typical day in my life would be like because, like most people I know, no two days could ever quite be the same. This is even more true now that I am in my second year of law school. On a typical day during the semester, I wake up around 5:45 in the morning to get ready for school. The first thing I do is make a pot of coffee because I am generally not a functional person prior to having at least one cup. Then I prepare my lunch and any snacks to keep me going for the majority of the day. This helps reduce my temptation to go out to lunch and make poor eating choices, even though I have to admit that Chargrill and Snoopy’s Hotdogs are only two blocks away from school and are often rotated into my lunch plans during the examination period.

When I arrive at school around 7:30 in the morning, I immediately drop my books off at my favorite study corral in the library, as I am likely to be in the same spot for the vast majority of the day. I try to schedule my classes early so I can utilize the afternoons to prepare for any classes or research any cases or laws I may need for upcoming assignments. I will often stay at school literally all day, sometimes not leaving the library until 10 at night, but I do take a break between 4 to 5 in the evening to either go workout at the gym, take a yoga class, attend a Code f.a.d. rehearsal, or even teach a dance class in the evening. One of the things I have learned as being a law student is that it is okay to take a break when you need one and you should often schedule these breaks to avoid taking too much time off or not allowing your brain time to rest in between reading assignments. Plus as a dancer, it is important to not only keep my physical physique up to par, but my mental capacities as well.

picture of my coffee table preparing for my Constitutional Law II final exam

picture of my coffee table preparing for my Constitutional Law II final exam

Rehearsals require us dancers to have both physical and mental strengths because it is important for injury prevention and to retain the complexities of each choreographic piece. Prior to attending rehearsals and during my off-time, I spend a portion of the day going over choreography and listening to the music we dance to from our in-house composer (Todd Buker) in order to catch certain accents in the music and translate them into my movements.

The last thing I do before my day ends is try to spend some time watching television, specifically the Daily Show or catch-up with Modern Family and House Hunters on my DVR. I think it is important to allow my brain to disconnect somewhat to everything I did prior to that point. This helps me to relax and have an uninterrupted number of hours to sleep.

And this is what is a typical day in the life of Gerren Mobley….thanks for reading.

-Gerren

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Creative Work, Finding Place, Travel

Back to work in the new year!

We are a few days into 2013 now, and rest assured, the company is busy once again after a break from rehearsals for two weeks. Yesterday afternoon Christina, Gerren, and I met to record our stories from Finding Place. (Thank you Chris White for your help with the recording!) While my story has already been choreographed, we have just barely started working on material for Gerren’s (and haven’t started Christina’s at all). Click here to listen to just a short portion of Gerren’s contribution to the text of the piece. As you can probably imagine, the images of those clowns are too irresistible not to work into the piece! Luckily, we’ve already found some volunteers to join our Finding Place cast:

a couple creepy clowns...

a couple creepy clowns…

So, the choreography is coming along with new dances and new stories, and good thing because we are only a month away from our First Friday perform at Artspace! We will be showing a short portion of Finding Place in Artspace’s downstairs education room on February 1 – a special preview performance ahead of the big premiere later that month in Durham. Shows will last approximately 10-15 minutes each and will take place at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm that evening. *Don’t worry, we’ll remind you again as we get closer!

Speaking of performances, we are even closer to our next tour performance of Julep; the company will be in Wilmington, NC, next Sunday, January 13 for a 3pm show in the Cultural Arts Building on the UNC-Wilmington campus. See ncdancefestival.org for more info or to buy tickets in advance. If you haven’t had the chance to see this work yet, please come out! We only have one tour stop left after Wilmington (January 25 in Charlotte). Feel free to view again the video clips of Julep online to get excited for the performance. Did you know there is also a 6-person version of Julep (in addition to the trio the company performs)? I expanded the cast last year to set the work on the NCSU Dance Company, and honestly, I don’t know which version I tend to enjoy watching more! Check them both out on my personal YouTube channel and the Code f.a.d. channel.

I know this post feels a bit disjointed – must just be the craziness that is the new year – and double show prep… Our regular rehearsal schedule starts back up tomorrow morning, so you can look forward to some video clips of our new choreography up next week!

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

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About Us, Creative Work, Dance, Film

Reflections on 2012

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!

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"

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

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" at Burning Coal

“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 NCMA

“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

“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

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

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.

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

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About Us, Dancers

A Day in the Life of a Code f.a.d. Dancer: Kristina Loflin

Kristina gets ready to perform "Julep"

Kristina gets ready to perform “Julep”

Editor’s note: Welcome to the second installment of “A Day in the Life of a Code f.a.d. Dancer!” We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about what our newest dancer, Kristina Loflin, does when she’s not dancing with us.

Monday, Dec 17, 2012

8:03am - Wake up. Walk into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and scare myself. Quickly reach for the mouthwash and comb my hair into a ponytail, all to impress my dog. He’s very judgmental.

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8:07am - Walk Mackie… more like let Mackie people watch and maybe he remembers to handle his business.

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8:20am - Loudly sing in the shower, waking my husband up. Josh loves my singing, he just doesn’t know it yet!

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8:36am - Cook breakfast while wrapping gifts for the kids I adopted off the angel tree. Smoke detectors go off because I’m not paying attention. Breakfast is a little burnt, but it adds character.

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9:09am - Dance in the bathroom to the TLC Pandora station while getting dressed for work. Slowly but surely, I’m getting dressed – debating highly on long hair or short hair for the day. Ask Josh his opinion and he says, “you’ll look fabulous either way.” What an awesome husband!

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9:57am - Leave apartment looking like a true bag lady with angel tree gifts, a bag of clothes to take to the tailors, and my ever so cute Thirty One lunch bag.

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10:02am - Arrive at the tailors but she isn’t there although it says store opens at 10. As if she didn’t know I was coming… I mean she didn’t but still… come on, I’m on a schedule here!

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10:05am - Seamstress pulls up. I’m a little pissed-off at the moment but I smile anyway. She is the best in Cary so I will tolerate this tardiness but this mark goes in the book.

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10:17am - Arrive at work – 13 minutes early! I’m feeling like a winner!

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10:30am - Finally settled and ready to start the day.

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11:45am – Look at the time and sees that it’s 11:45 a.m. Holy shit, I was suppose to have an appointment at 11am! Where have I been that it has taken me 45 minutes to realize that no one is in my office?!?

*Editor’s note: Apologies for the 4-letter word, but yes, there is some cursing within the Code f.a.d. world. As a humorous additive; however, whenever the cursing comes from myself in rehearsal the other dancers laugh and say it is like hearing your mom curse. Awesome… I am seen as a mother to dancers who are mostly my own age. Anyways, back to Kristina’s day…

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11:48am - Call the potential student to see where she is (Kristina works in admissions at a local college), and she informs me that her daughter is sick. Although I understand sickness happens, I can ensure you that the phone companies are still in business. I reschedule her appointment, but this mark goes in the book (along with the tailor’s tardiness mark from earlier).

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12:49pm - Realize that I’m starting to get tired. Debate if I should get a cup of coffee or take a nap on my break. I decide against the coffee, but the idea of a nap still sounds tempting.

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at the office

at the office

3pm - Student walks in for info. I love when students walk in for info. I love the fact that I can take a break from doing follow-up calls and answering tons of emails. I love that human interaction is an option. Yay! Did I mention I love walk-ins? Lots of love! Lots of love and exclamation points! Yay, for love! Yay, for exclamation points! Yay for yay!

*Editor’s note: Wow, Kristina has lots of enthusiasm! I hope she is this excited to learn some new choreography for Finding Place soon; I have a wonderful duet planned for her and Kelley Murphy. Stay tuned to the blog for some video clips to come in future weeks.

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3pm-6:45pm - I was so busy with appointments that I don’t even remember what happened. (Let your imagination be your guide…)

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6:48pm - I take a break, after my few hours of meetings with students, to talk with my co-worker. I express my need for a glass of wine. I sigh at the fact I still have another hour of work to go. She laughs and brags about how she leaves in 12 minutes. I give her an evil look and assure her that I will moonwalk out of the office tomorrow when I leave at 6pm and she’s stuck until 8pm working. Her laugh is cut short. I grin and walk away.

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7pm - I see my co-worker happily dance out of the office. She may have won the battle but the war is still in session.

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7:54pm - I start packing my belongings to go home. I began to feel excitement that I will be home in time for a deliciously fun-filled episode of reality tv! That excitement is cut short after talking with Josh. I forgot we must complete Christmas shopping tonight or it will not get done in time.

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8pm - Clock out.

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8:05pm - Arrive in my apartment complex. I admire all the pretty Christmas lights that my neighbors have put up. I think maybe I should do that and quickly think, “yea, maybe next year.”

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8:12-8:37pm - Josh and I sweep through the store gathering all the last minute details for Christmas gifts for our family members. We head to checkout, and our cashier is super chipper for it to be 8:30 at night. She must have drunk a Red Bull. (She obviously didn’t drink enough to give her wings; wings to fly away with the other United Chipper People of America at 8:30 at Night Coalition.)

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9pm – Get cozy in bed just in time for Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Goodnight world!

-Kristina

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Jill performs "Regulation"
About Us, Dance, Dancers, Travel

A Day in the Life of a Code f.a.d. Dancer: Jill Bradley Hall

Editor’s note: Throughout the coming months, we are pleased to share a bit more about our dancers’ lives (both in and outside of rehearsal). We are starting this journey by spending a day with each dancer, beginning with Jill Bradley Hall, who has chosen to document one day of the company’s recent performance trip to Washington, D.C.

Saturday Dec 8, 2012

Running past the Washington Monument...

Running past the Washington Monument…

8:30am – Morning run. The temperature was almost perfect for running – a little chilly and foggy but not raining. I had the privilege to run by some the most notable buildings in D.C., including the Washington Monument. Luckily, I had my phone and was able to snap a picture.
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9:30am -  Shower. One bathroom… four women. It takes us awhile to get everyone showered and dressed – especially considering the extra grooming required for a performance in our underwear.
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11:00am - Brunch, finally. Thank you, Panera Bread!
Holocaust Museum

Holocaust Museum

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12:00pm - Metro ride. We set off in search of museums and monuments; however, we were quickly distracted by a street arts and crafts market. I managed to find three Christmas presents for family and new earrings and a bracelet for myself! After shopping we walked through the city, across the lawn at the Smithsonian, saw the Washington Monument (for the second time today), and headed to the Holocaust Museum. Note: do not have mace in your bag when attempting to enter a national museum or monument. It’s not allowed. I had to surrender my mace and was pulled aside and searched. Once inside you are left to explore the exhibits on your own. There are no words to express the horrific events of the Holocaust. The experience [of going through the museum] was overwhelming and emotionally exhausting but one I’m thankful to have experienced. Unfortunately Kelley, Autumn, and I spent entirely too much time at the Holocaust Museum and were then running late for our call time at the theater.
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5:00pm - Mad dash back to the apartment! Quickly gather all the things we needed for the performance, stop by Subway for dinner on the go, and a bakery for a cupcake to be used in place of a cake for tonight’s performance.
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6:20pm - We finally arrive at the theater. Christina and I rehearse with Human Landscape Dance for a small role assisting in their portion of the show. Then it’s on to makeup, hair, and warm-ups. As the backstage manager begins to give us the countdown to top of show, the nerves of being mostly naked on stage begin to kick in.
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8:00pm - As “places” is called, we all strip off our sweat pants and step onstage in our underwear. The curtain is opened, the music and lights come on, and the show begins. All too soon our portion of the performance is over. I think it went well.
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9:30pm - Post show reception in the lobby. We met a couple who were attending their first dance concert, and they loved the show.
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10:00pm - Metro ride back to Dupont circle. It seemed like it took forever for the red line train to arrive!
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11:00pm - Late night dinner and drinks and then home to bed so that we can do it all again tomorrow.
-Jill
Jill performs "Regulation"

Jill performs “Regulation”

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About Us, Dancers, Guest Dancers

Welcome William and Kim!

Code f.a.d. Company has participated in some manner in SPARKcon (downtown Raleigh’s annual all-things creative festival) since we began in 2008. SPARKcon 2008 was actually our very first performance… though we sometimes like to forget about that one. Don’t get us wrong, we love SPARKcon, but that first year was a little rough. I came into the festival planning-process rather late, not knowing what SPARKcon was or what ot expect and basically got handed “danceSPARK” to organize. We managed to get Code f.a.d. (and some break-dancers) performing on the main stage – in Moore Square at this point in time – and we had a pretty decent crowd to see our performance of FALLING: Man v. Monster following the poetrySPARK Slam. (And the stage even stayed standing for our show, which is more than can be said for the break-dancers who performed later in the festival…)

It is now four years later. I am still in charge of danceSPARK, and I’ve learned a lot. SPARKcon has grown and changed a lot, too. For one, the festival moved to Fayetteville St., and is now contemplating a move to the Warehouse District (but will still remain on Fayetteville St at least one more year for 2012). Code f.a.d. has done main stage performances, outdoor workshops in the park, informal indoor performances, classes on the main stage, and I’ve helped several other companies and dance groups get involved in the festival, as well. This year, we have even more planned!

We will be performing as part of the first ever SPARKcon Opening Ceremony, to be held on Thursday, Sept 13 at the Raleigh downtown amphitheater. Wow! We are expecting several thousand spectators for the event – short of one day doing the halftime show at a football game, probably the largest crowd we could expect for modern dance. It was an easy decision as to what to perform: Indulge. We love that piece from 2009, and the fact that it heavily involves fashion – and we are performing after the fashionSPARK runway show – it just makes so much sense.

However, that means we need more dancers. Indulge uses our “core” six dancers (all still dancing with Code f.a.d. – how awesome!) and 3-4 additional guest dancers – who we call the “adjustors” because they tend to mess with our core dancers’ environment throughout the piece. Luckily, we already had Kristina Loflin (a new dancer as of last season) who could fill the role of one adjustor, but we’d still need a few more.

Welcome William and Kim to join Code f.a.d. as guest dancers for our SPARKcon Indulge performance!

William Commander

William Commander (who we call Bill) is a 2011 graduate of Elon University, and he just recently came back to the triangle area after spending the last year dancing in Washington, D. C. He is quite busy these days, dancing with Kearns Dance Project, Gaspard & Dancers, and Renay Aumiller Dances, and he teaches around the local area. Find out more about Bill by visiting his website. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Kim Canada

Kim Canada is originally from upstate New York. She attended Meredith College and holds a B.A. in dance, concentration: Private Studio Teaching. Currently, Kim teaches Zumba and Ballet Fitness at Pure Body Studios in Cary, and works as a children’s dance instructor at Arts Together in Raleigh.

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We are excited to welcome both Bill and Kim to Code f.a.d. for this special performance! Come see them (and the rest of our dancers) at the Raleigh amphitheater on Thursday, Sept 13. (We perform around 9pm, but festivities start at 6pm. FREE)

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

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About Us, Dance

Back to the Grind

Originally, I told the dancers we would resume our twice-weekly rehearsals on August 22 (when the academic year started back and we had use of our usual space at Cardinal Gibbons High School). However, looking at the calendar we have so much to prepare for in the first few weeks of the season, so I called everyone back early to rehearse on August 11. We made a plan to meet at a basketball court in the apartment complex of one of our dancers… little did any of us know (even though we asked ahead of time if we could use the space) that they would close the court for refinishing the night prior.

Problem solving time! We thought about moving into a grassy field at the same complex, but there was some thought as to how many residents walk their dogs through that same field… (you know what we’re getting at). So moving to a nice, flat surface – a community tennis court near my house. Concrete is naturally not the ideal surface for modern dance, but we took it easy on the jumping and falling – and honestly, it is nothing I have not done before. I can remember when I worked summers at Walt Disney World and would go give myself ballet class on the tennis court at Vista Way apartments – pointe shoes and all! (It is not something we hope to make a regular occurrence, but we made it work for one day.)

tennis court rehearsal photo

So what are we rehearsing for? Let’s take a look at the list:

Julep for the NC Dance Festival tour (first performance Sept 7)
sections of Indulge at SPARKcon (Sept 13)
Finding Place (with fewer cast members) at SPARKcon (Sept 14)
maybe something for the outdoor main stage at SPARKcon (Sept 15)
more Julep tour dates, with different dancers (Oct 26, Nov 2)
sections of Fashion Briefs for a show at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. (Dec 8 & 9)

A busy fall season up ahead – thus the early return to rehearsals! We will also begin work on new material soon for our own show next spring – stay tuned for details. In the meantime, come see us around Raleigh in the coming weeks.

-Autumn
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)

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