September 20, 2017
A PIECE IS ALMOST WHOLE
Injury Update: Mandy’s ankle is healing, but no relevés or jumps yet. Lorena’s back is improving, but it is still painful.
Kiddie Update: Eliza and Edgar are both in preschool for the same amount of time today! Thanks to the generosity of Steffi Nossen’s director, Shelley, Sebastian has a huge cache of cars, trucks, and legos to keep him busy. However, he is primarily preoccupied with discovering new ways to manipulate a wet paper towel. Covering various objects and taking the paper towel for stroller rides appear to be endlessly fascinating. Consequently, Sebastian plays independently while the dancers exercise on the floor. They alternate between individual and group stretches.
Following the warm-up, the dancers are excited to put together all of the segments of Jonathan’s duet. Jonathan explains that he would like to take a “broad strokes/sketch” approach as he talks Mandy and Lorena through the entire piece. The dancers focus on sequencing, while helping one another remember choreographic details.
Of course, as soon as they are ready to mark the piece all the way through to the music, Sebastian decides he needs his mother. Jonathan deftly swoops in to take Sebastian in his arms and entertain him in the hallways, enabling Mandy and Lorena to do a run-through of the piece.
Returning to the studio, Jonathan reviews the initial gesture phrases with Mandy so they can teach them to Lorena. Since Lorena and Mandy switch roles toward the latter part of the dance, they must learn each other’s parts.
Sebastian propels his cars and trucks across the floor, right through the dancers’ space, as Jonathan clarifies the choreography for both Lorena and Mandy for their new roles. Lorena continually casts an eye over to her son to ensure he is not ingesting floor debris.
Since Jonathan has to leave early to pick up Edgar and Eliza, Mandy and Lorena break for snacks and feed Sebastian his lunch.
Following their break, Mandy and Lorena continue to teach each other their parts. It proves to be much harder than they expected. It is difficult to both remember your own role and learn your partner’s role when the music is nearly identical.
Lorena and Mandy now review the phrases from the first section of Lorena’s piece, marking it to the music. Lorena repeatedly listens to the music to both recall and reconsider certain choreographic details. During each run-through, Lorena tests out new ideas and decides to change certain movements.
As she watches Mandy mark through the altered phrases, Lorena imagines changes in movement and timing for her own part. She then joins Mandy, testing out these adjustments and choosing which changes to incorporate in the dance.
Despite their physical and logistical limitations, the dancers make substantial progress toward the completion of their works. It’s all starting to come together!
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