Saturday, March 17, 2007

Soloist and the Pips

More Sonnets. At the end of the guys number, a girl enters at the back of the stage and comes spinning down the center. The guys leave her, as a quartet of girls enter from the side. Now, in this particular number, the 4 girls serve very much as backup dancers. They are the female equivilant of the Pips (of Gladys Knight fame.) They serve to frame the movement of the soloist. They create diagonals that she can travel down and they also gather around her and direct our attention to her feet as she is doing some particularly tricky steps. They could also be likened to those cherubs an angels in Reniassance paintings that are often directing your attention to a sublimely smirking Madonna.

As for the solo itself. I knew I wanted a very contemporary take on classical ballet. The solo itself has lots of undercurves and overcurves (which one sees in modern dance) that echo the ornateness of rococco design. I chose a dancer for it (Megan Evertz) who was new to the company. Our company both works on senority and not on senority. I try to make sure that dancers who have been with us for a while feel as if they are getting used and utilized in ways that continue to help the grow as dancers. However, if we bring a new dancer into the comapny, it is because there is something about them specifically that interests me. So I want to make sure that I explore what they can do during the year. In Megan's case, she has a very clear, legible way of moving. Her quality of movement is also very direct. Which is important because the dance is filled with a constant change of direction. When Megan moves, she reminds me of one of those modern dancers or female athletes from the Twenties.

I included this pic to show that I actually do watch some things from up front AND that I actually have fun doing it. I have often said that there is no place that I would rather be than in a rehearsal hall. That goes for back when I was a dancer as well. I'll talk about that a bit after we finish up with SONNETS.

Today at the ballet, we reset the boys number that I had discussed previously. We have to replace one guy (due to a planned foot surgery), so we were teaching his replacement, as well as remounting. Usually the girls have to stay after (since they tend to have more group work), so they always enjoy it when the guys have the extra rehearsals.



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