May 3, 2017
SECOND STORY’S VERSION OF A TECH REHEARSAL
We figured this session was going to be interesting; the only question was what the dynamics would look like. What follows is Second Story’s version of a tech rehearsal for our upcoming showing on Saturday. The “Creating While Caregiving” model really puts us to the test on a day like today!
First off: Eliza is sick, so Jonathan figures that he is not long for this rehearsal. In fact, he’s not even sure it’s worth changing into his dance clothes. Oh, and he has to leave early no matter what since he left Edgar’s lunch in the car. We’re clearly off to a great start.
Well, we have to nail down logistics, so the team makes quick decisions on spacing, positioning of chairs, given the number of expected guests, location of the music equipment, clothing and hair, and who is in charge of the music for each piece. We confirm that we will remove all the photos on the wall and put up Second Story flyers directing patrons to the studio. Refreshment choices are reviewed; the homemade baked goods are eagerly awaited by all. We finally go over the order in which each element of the showing will take place.
So far, so good. Time for a quick warm up. Eliza is sufficiently absorbed in a cartoon on the iPad, so Jonathan gambles that she’ll be occupied for a few minutes and quickly changes into his dance clothes. Sherri repeatedly draws Eliza’s attention back to the intriguing dynamics in the cartoon every time Eliza turns to seek out her dad. Add a few magic tricks for good measure, and Eliza remains engaged; as a result, Jonathan can participate in the entire warm-up!
Next up: a final review of Jonathan’s notes for Mandy and Lorena’s duet. He touches on a full spectrum of qualitative details: softening an arm position…infusing hand gestures with a searching quality…adding arm movements while transitioning out of a particular position…continue elongating a specific pose…Mandy’s dancing should become increasingly agitated…Lorena and Mandy need to contribute equal amounts of effort to lift Mandy…refining the entwined sequence of movements and incorporating another rotation…Mandy should use Lorena as a support. In one particular phrase, Jonathan would like to see a variation in arm lines, more texture in the torso area, and focus that gradually travels upward toward the ceiling.
Meanwhile, Sebastian alternates between independent play and hugging mom’s leg. When he insists on Lorena holding him, Jonathan takes Lorena’s place in the dance to demonstrate the desired changes.
Jonathan continues to work with Lorena and Mandy on choreographic adjustments: position legs as if moving across a tabletop…incorporate more arc of the body into a rotation…flex hands on attitude turns…add a head roll…travel at a greater angle…slightly tweak the final pose.
Jonathan coaxes Sebastian into his arms so Mandy and Lorena can do a complete run-through of the duet. When they finish, Jonathan identifies a segment requiring an adjustment in the spacing and a phrase in which the gaze needs to migrate slowly upward.
Wow! The dancers cover every detail of the duet before Jonathan must leave with Eliza. As he departs, Jonathan indicates that he will work on final refinements of his own solo over the next couple of days.
Since Sebastian is now playing games with Sherri, Lorena can closely observe Mandy’s run through of her solo. Lorena then works with Mandy to determine adjustments in spacing. Next, Mandy dances the piece a second time; Lorena is very pleased, and Mandy is exhausted! Lorena shares some ideas about how Mandy can use certain parts of the choreography to conserve her energy. Mandy marks the solo one final time; she is ready for the showing!
Finally, Lorena runs through her own solo, pronouncing it “not bad.” Mandy films the second run-through which Lorena feels is cleaner, more dynamic, and sharper in the right spots. She then studies the video to determine where she needs to make adjustments. She intends to eliminate extraneous arm movements and re-think some elements that feel right, but don’t look right. Like Jonathan, Lorena will use the next two days to work on these refinements at home.
Mandy, Lorena and Sherri conclude with a conversation about the vulnerability inherent in taking artistic risks and sharing your work with the public.
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