We’ve completed the opening, closing, middle movement section, and the first story section. We’ve also recorded additional stories, so now to choreograph a second story section – to complete Finding Place for this first performance! (As I might have expected, this work is calling for even more development; I’m sure it will evolve into an evening-length work later this season. For now, though, we only have about 15 minutes to perform at the NC Museum of Art, so we are wrapping it up.)
Our second story section begins with a story by founding company dancer Jill Bradley Hall – a story about her grandparents’ farm and old country store. Despite teasing for her country accent by fellow dancer (and northerner) Christina Serafino, Jill paints the picture of this store quite vividly:
“It fit the stereotype of small country store perfectly. Old men sat on the front porch talking, dipping, and smoking; an old coke drink box sat in the back next to a refrigerator where you could cut your own bologna; and there were cases and jars full of candy and etc. The highlight of every visit to the store for my sister and I was the chance to choose one item for ourselves. I almost always chose to get a Moon Pie. I loved them. Except for the chocolate kind.”
Upon hearing the story, Christina also mentions how she hates Moon Pies, so… she is the natural choice to play Jill’s sister and have to dance with a Moon Pie! The rest of the duet comes fairly easily – a combination of our playful movement from section 3 and gestures towards our coke bottles and other store provisions.
The rest of the second story section is a combination of two stories contributed by our guest dancers Jennifer Kirby and Corinne Canavarro. Jennifer talks about the sentimental value of her diamond engagement ring (containing her late grandmother’s diamond), while Corinne describes her grandmother’s dining room table and its community-building properties. These two stories just seemed to compliment each other beautifully, and so I had Jennifer and Corinne each say one line at a time – alternating segments of their individual memories. The choreography followed suit with Jennifer performing short solo combinations showing the love she has for both her grandmother and her (now) husband in between the larger ensemble gathering around our symbolic dining table. There is nothing too fancy about the dancing in this section, though I have a feeling it is some of the most potent movement in the piece.
(Code f.a.d. Artistic Director)