I’m planning rehearsal for tomorrow, and I trying to decide whether to spend the entire time running and tweaking or to start more new material. Something about directing a rehearsal and not dancing in my work is that I don’t have a gauge for fatigue and over-rehearsing specific sections. I’ve been a dancer in works that have felt under-rehearsed, severely over-rehearsed, and some spot on. A lot of it has to do with the timing. There has to be a peak, and it is ideally the performance. But what happens when there are multiple performances? It is the dancer’s job to make the work new each time, any professional dancer in a touring company will explain that. But knowing what it’s like to be the dancer, and not being far from it at all, I want to be careful, persistent, and remember how beneficial “mental” rehearsal is for more cerebral dancers. If I, as a dancer, had to choose one extreme, I would probably choose being over-rehearsed. As a director, I would rather them be *slighly* under-rehearsed because there’s a spark that happens when the dancers aren’t quite comfortable with the material. There’s a little more magic in my opinion. I have to let go of the ego to see the choreography performed as I intend it, and surrender to the unmatched mystery of live performance. So have I made a decision?
For a while I was keeping my distance from Satin Stitch–our upcoming dance-for-camera. We filmed it, and I made some major progress on the initial editing (the very, very beginnings). Then something happened…almost like I became afraid of it. But I had a major breakthrough last night, and things have opened up and we’re pressing on. I really think you’ll like it…come out to Spacetaker March 12 to see its premiere. A little wine, a little Frame, a little thing I like to call “Satin Stitch.”
Hi Reader. So, since we last met we’ve had several fantastic rehearsals and one successful Cultured Cocktails. Thank you to those who came out that night. It was a lot of fun, and we met quite a few people new to Frame Dance Productions. We had three winners of the raffle to win free tickets to our premiere of Satin Stitch on March 12. Coming up before March 12 is our performance in 12 Minutes Max at Diverse Works. Last Friday we finished the section that we will be showing. We have some cleaning up and some ironing of transitions, and one creation of a transition before then, but all of the material is there. The dancers are doing a lovely job and I am very pleased with where we are right now. Of course, since Friday, we’ve been developing more new material that will be in the entire production of “Mortar, Sylphs Wrote” on April 16 and 17 at the Hope Center. In the section that we will be showing at Diverse Works, there is a lot of woven, loopy, snakey movement. I am making a video component with the piece which I’m hoping will help frame and give atmosphere to the world I’m creating in this work. I also have costumes. But you’ll have to wait. I’m not giving that away yet. It’s too good. Those people at 12 Minutes Max will get a chance to see them, however. I’m feeling pretty exhausted mentally and emotionally, which is giving me a restlessness that I’m trying to escape. Just those mid-process growing pains.
We are into week three of rehearsals and so much has happened. We have a twining trio, a dead lift trio, a falling quartet and two snaky duets. We are creating the opening section of ‘Mortar, Sylphs Wrote’ first because it is the section we are premiering at 12 Minutes Max on March 3 and 4. I’m really trying to be efficient so it will be ready, and then we can take a little more time to dwell on the following sections and create the film portions that (I think) we’ll use.
If I had to describe the piece so far what would I say? Well of the tiny portion, I’d say it’s pretty dancey. It moves quite a bit. Our piece “Points and Coordinates” was a bit more minimal. That is very much due to the fact that we were confined to dancing on the canvases. “Dancing Diana” was a series of duets and solos. I’m trying to go an entirely different direction with this: multiple dancers on stage at a time, using more expansive floor pathways, and fluid and connected movement. I’m challenging myself aesthetically. I’m challenging myself with the use of the music.
Donna Perkins came in yesterday to draw the rehearsal. She’s the painter we collaborated with on “Points and Coordinates” AND, we will be doing portions of “Mortar” in Archway Gallery amongst her paintings that she created from “Points and Coordinates.” So you can come see this work and see her paintings that she created from another one of our works. I’m very much looking forward to seeing that as the atmosphere of the dance. The way I see it is that her paintings capture a multitude of moments from “Points and Coordinates.” But what’s interesting about paining, is that it exists outside of the time element we dancers are so intricately aware of. Meanwhile, Frame will be dancing amongst those paintings in a very time-aware fashion. And each moment is utterly temporary. Lots of layers going on here.
Houstonians–I want to see you at Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar to benefit Frame Dance Productions through a nifty event put on by Spacetaker called Cultured Cocktails. Long sentence.