Thursday, January 20, 2011

dance process journal #4: push

For this dance I want to build movement that is continually changing and yet still maintaining a strongly distinctive nature.  To create this structured improvisation, I must figure out what limitations to give the dancers in order to shape the flow of their movements.  I also need to figure out how to communicate clearly -- to the audience, and to the dancers.  The dancers interpret my directions as best they can, and then I think about what else I might need to say in order to guide them more specifically.

I don't want to write too much here concerning what this dance is "about" (and some of that is still to be determined), but by now you may have noticed that conflict is an important theme in the dance.  Today, we spent most of the rehearsal developing some of the movement for that theme.  I asked one dancer to push the other across the floor using any part of their body except for their hands.  When they reach the wall, they each work alone pushing against the wall.  At a certain point they will begin to feel tired and then they come together with leaning.  Then they go back into the pushing improv across the floor.

At about 7 minutes into this video clip, I add a new element.  The dancers continue their pushing improv -- but now, at some point while crossing the floor, they must also include the simple conflict phrase that we have worked with in previous rehearsals.  Their investment into the process and their wonderful creativity makes this so beautiful and interesting; well done, dancers!

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