June 21, 2017
Jonathan and his family are on vacation this week, so the ladies run the show today! Lorena and Mandy agree to work on Lorena’s piece, “Voices,” which will eventually contain 5 segments: 3 duets for Mandy and Jonathan, one solo for Mandy, and one solo for Jonathan. Mandy already learned and performed her solo at Second Story’s May 6th showing; it will now become section 2 of “Voices.” Today, the ladies will develop the beginning of section 1, the first duet of the piece.
Mandy brings Nate to rehearsal as his preschool has ended, and camp has not yet begun. Sherri’s daughter Samantha is also between school and her summer theater programs, so she joins the team to help out with Sebastian and Nate.
Mandy and Lorena choose to begin warm-up with a Pilates routine. Sebastian can’t resist joining the action, squirming around on top of his prone mom.
While the ladies proceed to an abdominal warm-up, Sebastian and Nate zoom around with cars, trucks, and a spaceship.
Mandy and Lorena then move on to a lengthy ballet barre segment while Samantha explores the halls with Sebastian. Nate enjoys a homemade snack while chatting with Sherri.
Prior to working on the section 1 duet, Mandy and Lorena decide to review Mandy’s solo to ensure she remembers all of the choreographic elements. Indeed, she does…all the while managing to avoid colliding with the doll stroller and truck that Nate sends into the middle of the studio floor. Since Sebastian has returned to reconnect with mom, Lorena observes Mandy’s dancing with her son in her arms.
Fortunately, Sebastian agrees to continue his hall explorations with Samantha as Mandy and Lorena begin work on the section 1 duet that will feature Jonathan and Mandy. Lorena teaches the choreography to Mandy, demonstrating the movements alongside her. Lorena develops this phrase in sync with the vocal melody rather than the metered beats of the music. Learning the steps is a bit of a challenge as Nate tunnels in and out of Mandy’s legs, dances in the middle of Lorena and Mandy, and weaves the stroller around and between the dancers.
But Lorena is pleased with the progress so far, so she moves on to choreograph the next phrase. As usual, Lorena alternately listens to the music, shapes ideas in her head, feels it in her body, then tests out her ideas with Mandy. We see wide, dramatic swings of the legs, long, extended arms, and turns led by the torso.
Mandy tries to involve Nate in her work to minimize his disruptions. She encourages Nate to learn the steps with her; Nate’s interpretation of the choreography includes jumping across the floor, holding mom’s legs, and racing across the studio as Mandy moves laterally. Intermittently, Nate assumes the role of rehearsal director, instructing Mandy and Lorena where they should be positioned to properly execute the dance.
While Mandy practices her part, Lorena assumes Jonathan’s role in the duet, experimenting with different material. Lorena explains that Mandy and Jonathan will represent the 2 melody lines of the music -- almost in counterpoint with one another in certain places, and executing a canon-type timing in others.
Sherri films the last run-through of today’s phrases while Nate darts in and out of the frame with his truck. Lorena then reviews the video to determine possible adjustments, but notes that the choreography “feels close to what it should be.”
Finally, Mandy and Lorena review their duet in Jonathan’s piece. Since Jonathan has the music with him on vacation, the ladies improvise and hum the melody. Nate’s spaceship shoots missiles into the dancers’ space, adding the finishing touch!
As Mandy and Lorena conclude this duet, Nate announces that he wants to go home. Perfect timing – the dancers accomplished everything on their agenda for the rehearsal, so it feels like the appropriate time to call it a day!
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