March 29, 2017
Prior to the warm-up today, Jonathan shares his experience teaching creative movement to Edgar’s preschool class yesterday. While the kids are not exactly his usual demographic, Jonathan thoroughly enjoyed his young students’ enthusiastic participation!
Since Mandy is unable to attend today’s rehearsal, Jonathan and Lorena agree to work on their solos. But first, Lorena leads a ballet warm-up at the barre. Unwilling to be separated from mom just yet, Sebastian assumes his place in her arms. Likewise, Jonathan straps Eliza in the Baby Bjorn carrier. As usual, Eliza loves every minute of daddy’s sweeping, swooping movements!
Once Sebastian is ready to get down and wander around the room, Eliza decides that she, too, wants to play independently. As the kids manipulate everyday objects within inches of their exercising parents, the dancers’ swinging legs narrowly miss toddler heads!
Following a final center-of-the-room warm-up segment, Lorena and Jonathan continue creating their respective solos. The dancers choreograph in separate parts of the room while listening to their music on iPhones. Their concentration is intermittently broken by the kids’ feeding/changing/emotional needs. In particular, toddler meltdowns about ownership and use of possessions require delicate parental interventions.
Left side of the room….Lorena develops her solo called “Prelude.” Her choreography is permeated by circular movements, deep pliés, contractions, elbows leading arm movements and suspended poses. Forward and back motions and changes of direction are common.
Jonathan offers a few notes to Lorena. He encourages her to allow her shoulders to initiate more movements and introduce certain motifs at an earlier point in the dance. He observes that her movement choices are perfectly synched with the way the music ebbs and flows – but she also needs to develop a “dancer through-line.” Lorena will work on incorporating these suggestions. She is pleased that she has already prepared 2 minutes and 15 seconds of this piece!
Right side of the room…..Jonathan works on the beginning of the second part of “Embers and Ash.” The geometry of this part of the piece is entirely circular, whether he is turning in place or moving in space. His character’s movements appear less frenetic and fraught than they were in Part 1; his general demeanor is much more relaxed. This meshes well with the lighter, more upbeat music. Jonathan’s distinctive arm movements and expressive hand gestures are reminiscent of those in Part 1, but appear to be more fluid. He attempts to convey the “pleasure” of curves and curlicues.
The intricacy of the choreography contrasts with the stillness and simplicity that characterize the early part of this work. The phoenix character seems to be breaking out of the confined space within which he moved before; he repeatedly ventures out, covering more space, then returns to his “nest.” He appears to show off the unfolding of his feathers as his world expands. A sense of freedom pervades this section of the work.
Lorena advises Jonathan to “finish” some of his movements and try to suspend others.
Both “Embers and Ash” and “Prelude” are scheduled to be performed at an upcoming works-in-progress showing. The team hopes to work out all of the logistical details with the studio within the next week. Stay tuned!
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