Monday, January 14, 2008

The Lovely Waltz

So the basic form of Joplinesque is that the 3 couples alternate with the corps of ladies from number to number. The first piece was performed to The Rag-Time Dance. Now the couples re-enter to the haunting strains of the lovely tune entitled Bethena.

Bethena is subtitled A Concert Waltz. Taking that as a cue, I kept the choreography fairly distilled and deliberate (although there are moments where the girls are cartwheeling in slow motion.) This section of the piece was first worked out and shown at a studio performance in the Spring of 2007. I had just decided that we would do the piece in the 2007-8 season, so I started working on two new sections. I hadn't looked at the archival video, but I remembered which 3 musical pieces had been previously used and stayed away from them.

The pic above is from that studio performance.

The number is filled with fairly deliberate drama. There are no fast movements and there are quite a few movement phrases done in canon.

As well as ballet technique, there is a hint of the tango in the dips and lunges that the dancers present. There is also a moderate amount of dancing in a classic ballroom hand hold position. If you notice Askar is dancing with Gabriela Ley in these images. Gabriela always brings an interesting soft strength to everything she does and she was very nice in this piece.

However, "the best laid plans of mice and men"... Gabby became pregnant and had to sit this season out.

So she was replaced in the ballet by Chelsy, who did an equally lovely job. The good thing is that we had only choreographed this one piece in the spring. I knew that I was going to be setting 3 adagios for the 3 couples. They would all dance in all 3, but a different couple would take the lead in each dance. This first dance featured Rachel and Chris.

Rachel and Chris (seen in his rehearsal wife beater t-shirt) took center stage in this piece. So there were plenty of plaintive develope's a la seconde and collapses on point (which Rachel does so well). There was also a great deal of "searching."

Here (again from the studio performance) Rachel has been separated from Chris and is taking a bit of comfort in Pali's arms (before Abby comes to pull him offstage.)

So luckily, the piece choreographed did not feature Gabriela as I probably would have rechoreographed it to suit Chelsy. Now, at the studio performance we were only showing works in progress, so we only performed half of the piece. We came back after a few months... watched the video... picked up where we left off (with a new dancer)... and finished it up.



Post a Comment

<< Home