October 25, 2017
IT’S ALL STARTING TO COME TOGETHER
Jonathan is out for the count: sick at home for the past couple of days. Nevertheless, he musters up the energy to send the music for his duet to Mandy and Lorena. He suggests that they review the most recent videos and work through his entire piece during rehearsal today.
Mandy and Lorena do a quick barre warm up as they are eager to do run-throughs of both duets. But first: Lorena enters into a negotiation session with Sebastian; in exchange for 5 minutes of uninterrupted rehearsal time, Lorena will join Sebastian in the lounge for a reading session.
As Sebastian settles in against a wall to look through a book, Mandy and Lorena start from the beginning of Jonathan’s duet, marking the choreography without music. They concentrate on recalling and incorporating the changes they made last week with Jonathan. When they reach portions of the dance where they are uncertain about the choreography, they verbally note the movements that need further clarification.
Meanwhile, Sebastian plays out a pattern in which he moves back and forth between hugging Lorena’s leg while she is dancing and engaging in brief spurts of other activities. Sherri attempts to lengthen the amount of time Sebastian’s focus is diverted away from mom. She initiates a variety of activities she hopes will be sufficiently entertaining. Some actually work, others – not so much.
Lorena and Mandy are now ready to run through Jonathan’s piece with music. Although there are still a few moments where they struggle to remember choreographic details, the dancers seem to take it in stride. Each time they rehearse the duet, Lorena and Mandy fill in more “gaps.” They note that they need to repeatedly practice the entire dance so they can remember all the choreographic elements and fully integrate the many qualitative details.
Lorena must have eyes in the back of her head – or a sixth sense about her son’s whereabouts, since she is able to continually monitor Sebastian AND rehearse at the same time. This tracking enables her to instantly respond when it appears that he is wandering off in the hallways or about to hurt himself.
Third time’s a charm; Mandy and Lorena dance all the way through Jonathan’s duet. They pause with about 1 minute to go since Jonathan has verbally described his vision for the final segment of the piece, but has not yet finalized the choreography. Sherri gets about half way through filming this run-through when the recording stops -- the phone’s storage is full. Of course. At least the video includes Sebastian running through the performance space with a big truck. Nice touch.
Mandy feels that she and Lorena have come a long way in the 3 run-throughs. They are now “clear about where we are unclear!”
Following a snack break, Lorena listens intently to the music for her piece, visualizing the choreography. She then suggests to Mandy that they “run as much as we know.”
First, the ladies walk it through without music, starting at the most recently choreographed section.
Next, they mark nearly the entire duet to music. About half way through, Lorena dashes out of the studio to retrieve Sebastian exploring the hallways on his own. She quickly returns to finish marking the piece, clarifying the timing of a couple of phrases.
Mandy and Lorena now dance the duet a bit more full-out. Lorena identifies the moments that will require adjustments in spacing and timing. At this point, Lorena wants to add choreography for Mandy to the phrase that follows their rolling on the floor. Lorena generates ideas, tests them out with Mandy, then ensures that they work with the music. Lorena decides to conclude this phrase with suspended arm and leg movements performed in unison.
Moving on, Lorena develops new material for the final phrase of the duet. Even with the additions today, Mandy affirms that she is “clear” on the duet’s choreography.
While preparing to leave, the dancers note that today’s rehearsal has been particularly productive. 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