April 26, 2017
Sebastian and Lorena are fully recovered from last week’s stomach bug – yay! – and are excited to take full advantage of the rehearsal.
Eliza fell asleep in the car on the way to the studio and is still asleep on Jonathan as rehearsal is about to begin. At Sherri’s suggestion, Jonathan carefully transfers his sleeping daughter to Sherri, who manages to write and keep Eliza sleeping comfortably at the same time.
Since no one wants to wake Eliza, the dancers do individual stretches without music and speak in whispers.
Meanwhile, Sebastian is having tons of fun playing with scarves, imitating Lorena at the barre, and hugging and jumping on mom during her floor exercises.
Fortunately, Sebastian is initially able to separate from mom, playing with various objects, running across the floor, watching the dancers, and putting goldfish crackers in Mandy’s boot.
And since Eliza is now awake but resting on Sherri – time to crank up the music and kick the warm-up into gear! The dancers are now free to fully engage in their exercises. Big smiles all around!
After waking fully, Eliza runs into daddy’s arms, so Jonathan must verbally lead increasingly complex across-the-floor sequences. It’s wonderful to observe Lorena and Mandy’s gorgeous extensions and suspensions.
Once Eliza joins Sebastian, delighted laughter fills the air. The dancers capitalize on their kids’ immersion in play to dive right into the duet for Mandy and Lorena. Jonathan begins with notes: subtle spacing changes for Lorena…adjustments to Lorena’s hand and arm movements…clarification of complicated sequences when Lorena and Mandy are entwined…exact placement of body parts at the proper time…working out tricky timing for certain phrases in the second half of the duet.
As Jonathan clarifies the “conversation of gestures” between Lorena and Mandy, we see greater extension, fluidity, emotionality, and quality of execution than ever before.
At this point, Sebastian is no longer interested in independent play and REALLY wants mom. The team’s attempts to re-direct his attention aren’t working. Time for the ultimate distraction: Jonathan carries both kids out of the studio to allow Lorena and Mandy to do a full run-through of the duet.
After diaper changes, it’s time for Lorena to work on her solo for Mandy. While Lorena feeds Sebastian, Mandy first marks it through, then dances it full out. We observe sharp accents, quick staccato moves, and very aerobically challenging choreography.
Lorena then shares some notes with Mandy: avoid anticipating and telegraphing where she’s going with her eyes…add more of a curve to the path that the straight limbs travel so the choreography appears less linear…try to take a lighter approach to her dancing.
Mandy then runs through the piece, incorporating Lorena’s adjustments; Lorena feels Mandy’s execution of the material is much better.
At the end of rehearsal, Jonathan and Lorena work simultaneously on their respective solos. Since she hasn’t had much rehearsal time for this piece, Lorena has difficulty remembering some choreographic details. However, she is confident that she will be able to reconstruct – and further develop – the dance at home.
Jonathan also expresses frustration with his progress on his solo. He explains, “I don’t feel on top of it; I need to be ahead of the game.” Yet, two exhausting run-throughs later, he feels much better. He believes that an extra rehearsal or two on his own will adequately prepare him to include this segment of Embers and Ash in the May 6th 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