December 7, 2016
THREE’S A CHARM!
Initially, we are a bit disappointed that the “creating/caregiving” scale tipped over to the “caregiving” side. It is Jonathan’s turn to walk Edgar and his buddies from preschool to cooking class, and Mandy is on early-dismissal patrol for her boys. As a result, our rehearsal today is a short 90 minutes.
Oh, but what fun we’re having! Captivating stories are exchanged, and great camaraderie permeates the atmosphere. We welcome back Lauren Gaul, who patiently waited for weeks while the Second Story team built up our infrastructure and mounted a fundraising campaign.
Undeterred by the discovery that the stereo is locked in a closet, Jonathan uses his iPhone for music and leads the warm-up. Eliza is still attached to Jonathan, so Mandy, Lorena and Lauren stage an intervention: they convince Jonathan to try placing Eliza in the old child carrier Jonathan found last weekend. The ladies help Jonathan secure Eliza in the carrier and – lo and behold – it still works! Jonathan is hands-free! As usual, he finds innovative ways to execute the exercises while connected to Eliza – both in and out of the carrier. A big smile breaks out on his face; it is clear that he loves to dance, and he loves to teach. This is where he “lives.”
Lauren notes her limited strength and flexibility since she hasn’t had many opportunities to dance since Parker was born. Lorena struggles with muscle soreness and feeling out of alignment – also a byproduct of a limited amount of time to dance since having a baby.
The kids begin to enjoy independent exploration, freeing up the dancers to focus on the qualitative details of their technique in the warm-up movements. Sebastian, Eliza, and Parker prove to be as compelling to one another as the myriad toys strewn around the studio. Their behavior resembles a choreographed dance, alternating between interaction with each other, imaginative play with various objects, and clinging to their parents. Sherri attempts to pre-empt the clinging part of the pattern, redirecting the children with “Can you show me?” and “Can you bring it to me?”
We’re now convinced that having all 3 children under age 2 in attendance tips the scale back over toward the “creating” side of the “creating/caregiving” continuum; the more Eliza, Sebastian and Parker play together, the more time the dancers have to choreograph and rehearse.
The group then breaks for snack time while Jonathan provides updates about the fundraising campaign and a potential collaboration with another organization. He also invites the dancers to participate in a Martin Luther King Day performing arts show sponsored by his sister-in-law’s Croton studio. Lorena contemplates dancing a 6-minute solo she recently choreographed to a Mozart piece.
As Lauren and Parker prepare to leave, Lorena and Mandy review the solo Lorena created for Mandy, dancing it side by side and deftly maneuvering around the children and their toys. The dancers then consult the video of Mandy performing the solo from last week to clarify choreographic details.
At the conclusion of the rehearsal, Jonathan suggests that Mandy and Lorena watch the most recent video of the duet he choreographed for them. He intends to resume working on it next week for the first time since being derailed by weeks of administrative work, fundraising, and nursing a sick child. We are all looking forward to developing this emotionally complex and compelling piece.
Sherri Muroff Kalt, founder of Process Portraits, LLC and author of Portrait of an Artistic Journey: The Creative Process in Real Life Context, is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in psychology. She began her career in marketing and sales in New York City with L’Oréal, Monet Jewelers, and Givenchy. READ MORE