Court Dances and Swan Queens
Before we continue with SONNETS, just a little everyday stuff. As part of our mission, SDB does alot of educational and community outreach. Today, before the dancers even took class, we had two different educational programs happening in two different parts of San Diego. Rachel took one group of dancers to Coronado. At 9 am, they gave a performance of Hailstones and Halibutbones, a narrated ballet designed specifically for schools to a bunch of kindergarteners. The dancers show an abbreviated class and bring the kids onstage to learn a bit of basic ballet and choreography. They then present a ballet that is accompanied by poetry. At the same time, I took Chelsy and Askar to Chula Vista Middle School to perform for some aspiring dancers. They performed the White Swan Pas De Deux (which is shown above in rehearsal in our studios in Dance Place) and gave insights about the dancers life and coming to America. Afterwhich, we all came back to the studios and reviewed and remounted more of SONNETS. Onward!!!!
So yesterday, we left Rachel and Askar in the midst of their pas de deux. At this point they are joined by another couple. Chelsy and Chris. The music now becomes a series of Spanish Court Dances. These were actually the first pieces of music chosen for SONNETS. At the time, I thought that perhaps the entire ballet would be performed to this type of music. BUT!!! These were not the first dances choreographed. By the time I got around to choreographing I had already altered the concept to include a lot of world music. Movement-wise w now get out of the more classical/sculptural movement. This section includes variations on bows, curtseys, taking of hands mixed with classical ballet vocabulary. Soon they are joined by three other couples. The repat the movement and add on. Eventually we get a dance that is a mixture of ballet, jazz, court dance, jitterbug and ballroom dance.
My intent was basically that I had 5 guys who could dance and I wanted to make something tricky. Although the dance itself is just a couples dance done in unison by 5 couples... the relationship of the girls steps to the guys steps are complicated. I knew it would take time to make it clean, but I had the time. So why not. This IS a fast dance, it is followed by a slow piece for Chelsy and Chris which I will discuss tomorrow.