June 7, 2017
CREATIVITY ON THE CAREGIVING SIDE
While preparing to warm-up, the team selects July 5th as the optimal date for the photo shoot. Mandy will talk to the photographer to confirm this date and get her opinion on whether the shoot should take place in the studio or at an outdoor location.
Jonathan then leads the warm-up. Sebastian immediately takes his place in Lorena’s arms. Lorena observes that her son’s desire to remain with her may be related to being away from rehearsal for 2 weeks. Eliza soon realizes that Sebastian is very happy, so she seeks her own bliss in Jonathan’s arms. Great for the kids, but rather limiting for the parents.
Sherri eventually coaxes Eliza onto her lap under the pretense of needing her assistance. They proceed to marvel at the balance and skill required for the dancers to execute their warm-up movements.
Before long, Sebastian is able to separate from Lorena and engage in imaginative play by the studio door (likely trying to exit!).
Now all of the dancers are free to fully engage in their exercises!
Jonathan then figures out challenging across-the-floor choreography and teaches it to Mandy and Lorena. The adults suggest that Eliza and Sebastian stand in the middle of the dancers on one side of the room and run across the floor next to the dancers as they execute their new routine. So far, so good; everyone is happy!
After a quick diaper change for Sebastian, Lorena returns with complicated warm-up choreography of her own.
Mandy and Lorena conclude the warm-up with an abdominal series while Sebastian lies prone between them. Jonathan decides to stretch on his own. He continues his exercises while Mandy and Lorena take a few minutes to play with the kids. As usual, a “teachable moment” arises when Sebastian swipes plastic cones from Eliza; time to model sharing behavior.
The dancers are now ready to review Jonathan’s duet. Mandy and Lorena try to recall all of the choreographic details while Jonathan makes mental notes. Sebastian runs right in the middle of the dancers, waving his plastic cones, so Lorena can only execute a few movements. After Sebastian pretends to use Jonathan’s discarded sweaty shirt as a long skirt, mom successfully re-directs him to other toys.
Time to try again: Mandy and Lorena run through the duet with greater ease this time – until Sebastian takes a spill on a slippery scarf. After some TLC from mom, the dancers are ready to try “Take 3.”
This time, the dancers are able to run the entire duet to music. Jonathan suggests to Mandy that she makes sure certain hand gestures are right on the beat of the music. He also asks her to vary the tempo of her hands running up and down her legs in another phrase.
Jonathan is now ready to “build the next phrase” in the duet. He calls this process “operating in clay mode.” He wants to work with the dancers to shape his early ideas. Consequently, he describes to Mandy and Lorena what he wants to see as the ladies try to execute the requested movements in the moment. The dancers work with Jonathan to test out the ideas and continually figure out both aesthetic and practical adjustments. Mandy and Lorena are entwined, so the choreography proves to be especially complicated. Jonathan seeks a “conversation” of interesting arm and leg movements, alternating between Mandy and Lorena. We see difficult weight shifts, quad-supported lower body positioning, and moving through space in a crouched position as one unit. Once the kids insert themselves and essentially add to the “conversation,” Jonathan entices them away with a Shaun the Sheep video.
Lorena and Mandy struggle to find their balance, given the difficult elements in this new phrase. It becomes even harder when Sebastian returns to be with his mother. Jonathan decides to swoop him up and entertain him away from the dancers. Sebastian is NOT happy, but this intervention enables Mandy and Lorena to practice repeatedly, eventually working out the movement challenges.
Mandy has to leave early to pick up Nate from preschool and informs the team that he will be coming to rehearsal next week.
Once again, Lorena provides another sharing lesson for Sebastian and Eliza.
At this point, Jonathan and Lorena contemplate whether they want to continue working for the last part of the rehearsal. They ultimately wind up discussing a variety of subjects:
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