Thursday, March 22, 2007

All Dance, Everybody Dance

Alright, so now we have the second part of the Act One Finale of SONNETS.
The couples and Jillian leave and are replaced by a new soloist. Christine. She is the dancer in the furthest downstage position. As she dances, groups of dancers come in and out, joining her in a communal dance.

Now, I have two basic ways of teaching things. Half the time, I will look at a group of dancers and think, "Okay, that dancer for a solo and those two for a pas de deux." Then I will work out the choreography on the dancers I have chosen so it fits their bodies. But sometimes I think, "I want everyone to learn this movement." Usually it is because I want all the dancers to get that communal feeling of working on a piece together. It helps with camaraderie and builds company cohesiveness. Additionally, if I do a piece next year that builds on movement that we expirimented with this year, I need everyone in the company to have the experience. Not just one person. All dancers have a specific way of moving. And sometimes, I want them to learn to move like me. Now, you have to be careful with this kind of exploration. You can't do this and then just turn it into a solo for the same person show after show. The other company members would grow to resent it.

In this case, I knew that everyone was going to be able to show the movement. So I didn't have that problem. As you can see the horde of dancers are all moving in the same way, with the same intent. I always knew that there would be a lead soloist, but Christine was not picked to do the lead until all of the movement had been created. In the end, I felt that she had the best handle... grip... presentation of the movement.

As we were working on the remounting of this piece, I did change one thing. Christine used to enter and exit for every group section. When I saw it again this year, it struck me as slightly comical. I don't think that anyone who saw the piece for the first time would think so, but it seemed a bit manic. So I decided to keep Christine on stage through the whole dance. It actually makes the piece go by faster.

As the piece finishes, the men come in and jump around. Christine joins them and they all jump offstage. End of Act One. And the audience goes off to get a little refreshment to get ready for Act Two.

Today at the ballet, we had more clean up. The ballet is almost entirely restaged. We should finish it tomorrow. Uma, our Indian dancer, whose piece we will discuss tomorrow, came in today to work with Gail. There should be an e-mail blast going out today. Our radio spots and ad in the paper came out. So we are going into the final ticket selling push. If you are reading this blog and live in Southern California, buy your tickets now :)



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