Saturday, January 19, 2008

Magnetic Rag - Solo

And now we have the final solo of the piece, danced to the Magnatic Rag.

This piece is danced by Bernadette Torres, along with the 4 girls who backed up Jillian in Elite Syncopations. It features lots of tricky changes of directions... along with some very twisty-turny eccentric work with the legs.

Two things of note in this piece...

The first is the timeline. As I said before, 3 of these numbers were choreographed years ago. Then this year, I used them as the basis for an expanded work. So 2 more pieces were developed for the Spring Studio series. Then one of the older pieces was reconstructed for our fundraiser. This piece was developed after that as part of a joint summer program we had with John Malashock and Jean Issacs.

I have used summer programs to develop pieces before. Since Bernadette was taking part in the workshop, I figured that I could develop something for her to be used as acounter to Jillian's already choreographed solo.

The second thing of note is that it is too long. For the summer program, it needed to have some length, as it was performed by itself. But in the ballet, it is supposed to balance out another solo. I left it long, because I was expirementing with form. I was trying to see if a longer solo could be sustained (not by the dancer, but by the audiences attention) at the end of the ballet.

Because the audience does register that the ballet is almost over since they have seen each of the principle couples takes stage and dance. When Bernadette comes center, they do register "Oh yes, its that other girl who was separated from the rest." and the shape of the ballet makes sense to them.

The problem was that the dance is 4 minutes and 46 seconds long, compared to Jillian's 3 minutes and 6 seconds. A minute and a half may not seem long to you, but on stage it is forever. Especially near the end of a piece.

The good thing is that I know where the cut in the piece is going to be and I am sure that it will make the piece stronger.



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