March 18, 2018
TECHNICAL VIRTUOSITY, EMOTIONAL POWER, AND ALL HANDS ON DECK!
Excitement was in the air as the Second Story team arrived to prepare for our showing. With a lot of meticulous planning and the generosity of friends and family working side by side with us to set up, we hit the ground running – and the show began! Our patrons and dancers shared an intimate, emotional, collaborative, technically challenging, and artistically compelling experience!
First, Jonathan welcomed the audience, both new and repeat attendees, and described the origins and development of our Second Story Dance Project. New patrons learned that they would be introduced to four works-in-progress and the process of creating those pieces. Returning audience members were encouraged to note the ways in which our work has developed and our process has evolved since our first showing last May. All patrons were invited to participate in group and individual process discussions following the performances.
Then, Jonathan announced our upcoming collaboration with the Westchester Children’s Museum on April 15th. We have created a special choreographic children’s workshop called “Watch, Do and Make Dance!” in which elementary school-aged kids will be exposed to dance creation and performance. The Second Story dancers will perform small portions of the works presented in the showing, teach a phrase from each piece to the children, then help them develop choreography incorporating what they have learned. The dancers and children will put all the material together to create an original dance.
Prior to the presentation of each work on the program, Sherri shared with the audience details of the context within which each piece was created. She outlined the artistic influences, psychological and emotional explorations, possible interpretations, logistical challenges, and major life events that shaped the development of each dance. Each choreographer’s style and way of approaching his/her work was discussed.
The program featured 4 works: 3 sections of Lorena’s piece called “Voices” – one solo for Mandy and two duets danced by Mandy and Lorena – Mandy’s untitled solo for Lorena, Jonathan’s 3-part solo called “Embers and Ash”, and Jonathan’s duet for Lorena and Mandy with the working title of “Brittle Branches.”
Following the performances, Sherri facilitated the process discussion following the performances, suggesting several potential topics to pursue. While a number of patrons made observations and asked questions, the stampede of many members of the toddler set made it difficult to continue the conversation. As often happens in rehearsal, we adjusted our course in response to the kiddie dynamics. Acknowledging the shift in the energy in the room, Jonathan invited everyone to help themselves to refreshments.
As the dancers and guests mingled, our family and friends pitched in to clean up the studio, restoring it to its original condition. It really does take a village to mount a show, no matter how informal it may be.
Despite greatly limited rehearsal time, the dancers captivated their audience with their technical virtuosity and powerful, emotional character portrayals. It felt like every single person at the showing was engaged in the process!
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