Thursday, May 17, 2007

Time To Tidy Up and a Surprise Visit.

Cleaned my desk at the office today.

Made a big list on some blue paper of stuff I needed to do. As much as I keep things percolating in my mind, when it comes to tasks, I am much better having a written list that I can scratch stuff off of.

Scratched 11 off of a list of 35.

So that isn't too horrible.

Might get 3 more things done before I leave. Will take some home with me.

Very pleasant surprise today. One of our alumni dancers came in. Corina Maggi (Fabbroni) was a long standing member of the company. She created roles in many of my pieces and still comes to people's minds when they think of performances of our ballet, Mambomania. Her early solo (a fusion of jazz, ballet, and even some vaudeville tricks) not only set up the ballet but previewed much of what San Diego Ballet has become known for.

Exciting, accessible dances performed by exciting, accessible dancers.

Not that we don't also do work that is challenging to our audiences in one way or another. but we hope that we ENGAGE them in the challenge.

Well, Corina was in town visiting family and decided to visit her other "family"... us. So there was much hugging and catching up. Safe travels back to the city of Oakland in the Great Wilderness of Northern California, Corina!

Went to see a production of Mandance by San Diego Dance Theater. 8 choreographers... all male. All the pieces were danced by men. It was interesting and laudable, but so serious. Speaking for myself, I would have liked to see one happy dance. A couple of smiling "man" dancers in bright colors jumping and bouncing around in a happy mandance.

But anyway, it reminded me of one of my favorite dance pictures.

Tim Wengerd was a leading dancer with the Martha Graham Company in the late 70's and 80's. This image captures the artist in an extremely dynamic and difficult movement. How difficult? Well, you try doing it.

This sort of hinge movement was very much part of my early dance training, so I love seeing it performed well. What is interesting about the pic is that it is not a pose that can be held for long. So did Tim get to this position from a standing position ("Is he falling back?") or did he come from a kneeling position ("Is he rising?).

There are some hints in the pic, but I'll let you dwell upon the conundrum.

Wengred was a powerful, beautiful dancer. He moved with a combination of grace and strength that echoed that of Graham's original male dancer (and partner) Eric Hawkins. As his career progressed, he became known as a promising, thoughtful choreographer.

Tim Wengred died of AIDS at the age of 44 in 1989. But in this image he looks out at us, balanced precariously between rising and falling.

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Anonymous Heather Soles said...

I was a friend of Tim's. I lived with him at his home in Albuquerque during the summer of 1973 while attending the RDT Dance Workshop. He was an extraordinary human being, a kind and generous man and as you have noted, an amazingly talented and creative dancer and choreographer. He was also amazingly strong.
One of his works from that time that haunts me is a piece called 'Dusk'. It was choreographed for himself and two women, with himself representing dusk as the time transitioning between the beauty of day and night. I still remember the moment when both the dancers leaped at him and he caught them simultaneously. It was breathtakingly lovely and an amazing feat of strength.. I wonder if it was videotaped or if any of his colleagues at RDT remember this choreography. Technology was so rudimentary back then but I so wish that this fabulous piece of dance were accessible today.

12:08 AM  

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