August 2, 2017
EKING OUT SOME WORK
Lorena arrives with significant back pain, greatly restricting her movement. She spends a lot of time in a variety of stretches and can’t do much more than mark the steps of the pieces we rehearse.
Fortunately, Mandy is feeling much better, dancing with her usual focus and energy.
Sebastian and Eliza contentedly cuddle their parents during floor stretches, but continue to seek Jonathan and Lorena’s attention as the warm-up progresses. It is particularly difficult for Eliza to separate from dad today; she seems to need a lot of comforting, especially in his arms. Everyone on the team alternately attempts to distract and engage the kids to enable their colleagues to eke out a bit of work. Today’s kiddie challenges require a large dose of patience, flexibility, and creativity to address – but hey, this is what we do.
Jonathan and Mandy manage to execute across-the-floor choreography during a couple of minutes when Eliza and Sebastian are occupied. The dancers experiment with different rhythms at increasingly faster speeds. As Eliza points out to Sherri, Jonathan and Mandy are “rocking, hopping, and turning.” Well said, Eliza.
Jonathan focuses as best he can on coaching Mandy and Lorena in his duet. Eliza is distressed, even while being held, so it is difficult to soothe her adequately AND refine choreography! After Lorena and Mandy review the phrases developed during last week’s rehearsal, Jonathan clarifies the timing in several places.
At this point, he chooses to return to the opening segment of the duet to discuss changes he envisions in hand and arm placement. He notes that “the hand should always have a pose.” Accordingly, he adjusts hand gestures and expansive arm movements in the opening poses. He also decides to add gestures to some of the existing phrases, thereby creating a more dense, complex and interesting visual experience for the viewer.
Mandy and Lorena break for snacks and diaper changing as Jonathan prepares to leave to pick up Edgar. Eliza is definitely glad to be heading home.
Like last session, Lorena revisits the beginning of her duet. After reviewing last week’s new phrases with Mandy, Lorena connects this material with choreography she developed for this section last year. The dancers work out the counts as they listen to the music. Lorena decides to travel the steps farther across the floor and incorporate a change of direction.
As the ladies move on to the next phrase featuring choreography performed in “canon,” Lorena adjusts the timing of the slow pliés and leg extensions.
Despite the continual child care demands today, the dancers still managed to review and further refine segments of both duets. Creating while caregiving, indeed.
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