March 22, 2017
MAKING THE MOST OF A SLIVER OF TIME
During their usual Tuesday meeting yesterday, Jonathan and Sherri fleshed out the details of a proposed works-in-progress showing. Strategic, creative and logistical elements were discussed, and preliminary marketing materials were prepared. Stay tuned for more information!
The team knew that Jonathan had to leave quite early today to pick up Edgar and his friends from preschool – and that Mandy would not be able to arrive until late. Despite the many parenting demands today, the dancers manage to squeeze a lot of work into a short period of time!
Anticipating Eliza’s usual need to begin rehearsal in daddy’s arms, Jonathan straps her in to an old Baby Bjorn holder against his chest – and a happy father and daughter lead the warm-up.
Sebastian rapidly alternates between seeking his mother’s arms and playing independently. Dancing between the raindrops, so to speak, Lorena really works the warm-up when Sebastian is otherwise occupied.
Soon after she arrives, Mandy jumps right into a quick Pilates-based warm-up. The dancers drift into their own exercises to some of their favorite tunes. The music sweeps everyone up in its catchy melodies and rhythms. Sebastian is particularly enthusiastic about moving to the beat!
At the conclusion of the warm-up segment, Jonathan takes Eliza out of the Baby Bjorn and collects his thoughts, trying to maximize the effectiveness of the short time he will have to work. He jots down some quick notes. Eliza becomes absorbed in a variety of objects, particularly a treasured rubber purse and angel ornament. Fortunately, this allows Jonathan to fully focus on going through his list of notes for the duet for Mandy and Lorena. Starting with the beginning of the piece, Jonathan targets specific phrases and poses for adjustment and refinement. Key elements include the precise placement of hands, curved arm shapes, flowing from one position to the next, and subtle changes in Lorena’s positioning in relation to Mandy. Much of this work is accomplished while Sebastian squeezes through and hugs Lorena and Mandy’s legs.
However, choreographing comes to a screeching halt as the dancers work to resolve a vegetable pouch ownership crisis with Eliza and Sebastian.
Once the kids are satisfied with the outcome, the dancers modify the other phrases on Jonathan’s list. We see timing adjustments, changes in placement of limbs, and added gestures, providing greater visual interest. Jonathan works with Lorena to make it appear as if her actions are the engine that cause the entwined pair to continue to move. As the duo twist their bodies around one another, Lorena tries to “carve” her back around Mandy.
As Jonathan hurries to leave to make it to Edgar’s preschool on time, he suggests that Lorena and Mandy mark through these changes. However, the ladies are unable to review the new material since it is clear that Sebastian needs to be fed – now.
Following a food break, Mandy marks through Lorena’s solo. Lorena is reconsidering the ending, but for now she works with Mandy to clarify spacing during several segments of the piece. She would like Mandy to remain closer to the center of the stage when she moves laterally and diagonally.
Lorena then works on the development of a new solo she recently began choreographing. Set to somber classical music, the choreography features circular movements, torso and arm curves, contractions and pliés. She is considering performing this piece for the upcoming showing.
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