Thursday, February 17, 2011

dance process journal #6: the hat factor

Now we are working on adding a new layer to the dance; here are clips from our last 2 rehearsals.  After setting up some basic guidelines for the hat behaviors, I just need the dancers to start moving so that I can take a look, even if things are still rough.  I need to see them working with the information they have so far, so that I can figure out what else I need to tell them.  My concept for the movement comes partly from my instincts as a performer, and isn't always verbal in my mind... I'm sensing I what I feel viscerally when I imagine the movement happening.  But as I work with the dancers, I have to find ways to put more of that into words.  In watching them work with the material, I find out what I need to clarify verbally, what limitations I might need to add or remove, and what we might need to change altogether.  Unexpected challenges and questions arise.  Sometimes there's a lot going on at once, and it takes time to address each detail.  We still have a lot of refining to do but I think you will see that the "hat person" choreography starts to come more into focus by the end of this video clip.

I gave the dancers a number of movements and gestures to use while wearing the hat, and they also have guidelines for how to approach the other dancers and how to interact with them.  Within these guidelines there is still room for spontaneity, and anyway since the pushing movement is somewhat unpredictable, the hat person cannot perform their interactive actions the same way each time.  The dancers now have even more directives to remember while they are performing, and they also have to remain open to spontaneous choices and adjustments. 

For these rehearsals we are also working in a much larger studio than before, and the walls are somewhat different to the other studio's walls.  Because of these environmental changes, we can now also begin to figure out how far apart the dancers can get from one another, and how to bring them closer together at times so that they can interact.

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