February 14, 2018
NAILING DOWN TECHNICAL AND ARTISTIC DETAILS
The dancers kick off today’s rehearsal with Valentine’s Day cheer. Lorena’s announcements about her work promotion and Sebastian hitting a developmental milestone also fuel the high spirits.
Jonathan, Mandy and Lorena do individual stretches while catching up on one another’s news, then move into a ballet-based warm up.
Plastic cars fly through the air and race along the walls and mirrors – Sebastian is in the house!
Jonathan and Mandy continue their warm up with across-the-floor sequences, while Lorena, in a burst of creative energy, listens to her music to generate new material for the last section of her piece. Without missing a beat, the dancers use their tendus to push Sebastian’s debris out of the way.
Sebastian then occupies himself with drawing and pursuing Mandy and mom’s snacks. Everybody knows that other people’s food tastes so much better than anything you have.
The dancers agree to begin rehearsing Jonathan’s piece, especially since he had to miss last week’s session. Mandy and Lorena decide to mark it through to “find the holes” while Jonathan observes and takes notes. Just as they finish the opening poses, Sebastian runs with his stroller in and out of their space – but then veers away, hovering on the perimeter. Phew.
It is striking to watch Mandy and Lorena portray their characters with more intense emotional energy than in the past. Even their arm and leg extensions seem more expansive than usual.
When they reach the first section in which Mandy dances a solo, Lorena jumps out to help Sebastian, then returns just in time for her “entrance.” Talk about seamless choreography!
The ladies experience a bit of difficulty executing a challenging partner movement at the end of their entwined series of poses…struggle a bit with the timing of the floor segment…acknowledge the moments where they can’t recall the choreography…wrestle with the timing of the final poses.
Jonathan, Mandy and Lorena then alternate between reviewing parts that the ladies feel need clarification and going through Jonathan’s notes.
Lorena decides to put on a video for Sebastian, thereby minimizing future interruptions.
The dancers spend a considerable amount of time breaking down the final sequence of poses, moment by moment. Since Mandy and Lorena are in their reversed roles, each dancer coaches the other on the details of the poses and the corresponding weight shifts.
Jonathan then offers several more notes:
Mandy receives a call from school asking her to pick up her son Nate, who is not feeling well. Since she has to leave rehearsal now, she suggests that she and Lorena get together for an hour over winter break next week to review the material they worked on today.
When Mandy leaves the studio, Jonathan and Lorena work on their respective pieces.
Jonathan goes through the first part of his solo gesture by gesture, with particular emphasis on the details of the initial hand flipping sequence. He chooses to increase his use of staccato, jerking movements of his arms and hands. In contrast with the last time he worked on his solo, Jonathan seems to fully inhabit his character; he infuses each moment with emotional power. Jonathan explains to Sherri that he would like to experiment with changes in choreographic and qualitative details that more accurately reflect his current psychological/emotional context. Unfortunately, he does not have the time for this process before the showing; consequently, he must commit to his creative choices earlier than he would like.
Meanwhile, Lorena plays her music over and over to make choreographic decisions about Section 5 of her piece. As her ideas take shape, she tests them out in her body. She later sits on the floor, using her fingers to trace possible geometric configurations she may use. Once again, she tests out these concepts, imagining movement trajectories for both herself and Mandy.
As Lorena and Sebastian prepare to leave, Sherri and Jonathan discuss script ideas for the upcoming showing.
What a productive rehearsal! Way to nail down those qualitative details!
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