This was the first time bringing together some of the Philly and NYC dancers. We only had a short time together in the space beforehand, and it quickly became clear that we would need to make a number of adjustments in order to do the piece with more than 3 dancers. We worked on some of those changes before the show, but I felt we weren't quite ready to perform it with everyone so I decided to show the dance with 3 performers first, and then right afterward to present an open rehearsal with all 5 dancers so that the audience could see some of our choreographic process.
The first video below is an excerpt from what we showed with 3 dancers. You'llt notice that if the hat falls off of the "hat person," everyone now goes into their personal/individual movement. You might also notice that you can hear the dancers breathing more heavily in this clip; I think that this is due to the energy of performance. Performing a dance in public usually gives a dance a heightened energy, along with some amount of unpredictability. One audience member commented to me that she enjoyed hearing the dancers breathing and I agreed... this was a small, intimate space so the audience was very close to the performers and could really hear and see many details.
I was very excited by what happened in the open rehearsal (below). I am speaking throughout this video so you will hear me describing our work to the audience. For one thing, we had to figure out how to adjust the pushing and other improvisations now that the dancers are not just working in pairs. When we first tried 2 or more people pushing one person, it just looked like they were all struggling with each other and it wasn't clear that someone was being pushed (you will see in the video how we made that more clear). I also decided that the hat person must now split their focus and make sure to go back and forth relating to all of the dancers, in order to tie the piece together. The dancers quickly incorporated the changes that I asked for, and by the end things got pretty thrilling.
I think/hope that the audience enjoyed seeing some of our rehearsal process. Thanks again to the dancers who performed in this show: Loren Groenendaal, Rebekah J. Kennedy, Gessica Paperini, Katherine Kiefer Stark, and Barbara Tait -- you all did a wonderful job! We still have some more changes to make but I think we will be able to figure them out next weekend, when dancers from both cities will be performing together again. It will be a real adventure since that will be our first time taking the dance outside. I'm sure that I will have a lot to write about here next time!