Archive for September, 2009

To the finish line…

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I can’t believe our newest show, seam, is in only three weeks!  For the next week I’ll feel elated as things really start coming together: the big group piece is finding itself (as yet untitled, but I’m considering some doozies…), my solo is gaining momentum and I’m psyched to start rehearsing with Justin on sax, and other elements like lighting and costumes will be settling in very soon.  But then I’ll face the final two weeks when my thoughts will turn from awed energy to frantic scrambling.  That’s when the myriad little (big) things I’ve forgotten about will begin rattling around in the subconscious file cabinet I keep in the back of my brain and I’ll remember all that stuff in one big tsunami of panic.  But, thankfully, there’s that heroic je ne sais quoi that pretty much always swoops in to save the day.  Maybe it’s the muse, God, the patron angel of impossible creative projects…you know who I mean.

A few of you have asked about the concert’s title.  We spent a lot of time trying to find a metaphor that would reflect something of each of the five different pieces on the show, and seam fit the bill.  So, by way of summary, here’s what the show’s about:

–noun

1. the line formed by sewing together pieces of cloth, leather, or the like.
2. the stitches used to make such a line.
3. any line formed by abutting edges.
4. any linear indentation or mark, as a wrinkle or scar.
5. Knitting. a line of stitches formed by purling.
6. Geology. a comparatively thin stratum; a bed, as of coal.
–verb (used with object)

7. to join with or as if with stitches; make the seam or seams of.
8. to furrow; mark with wrinkles, scars, etc.
9. Knitting. to knit with or in a seam.
–verb (used without object)

10. to become cracked, fissured, or furrowed.
11. Knitting. to make a line of stitches by purling.

See you in three weeks!!  Aaaaa!

Thank you, Sumac!

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Way back in June, I participated in my FAVE Susan Marshall and Company‘s intensive workshop called SUMAC: Systems for Understanding Movement and Choreography. I was so thrilled to be accepted into this 6-day experience, along with 5 other choreographers and 18 dancers from around the country, to learn about this group’s collaborative creative process and to ogle at my current idols of choreography and performance.

Aside from my own exhausting and nauseating limitations (being 12 weeks pregnant), my time at Sumac went far beyond my hopes for creative nourishment, challenge and rejuvenation. Susan, along with company members Kristen Hollinsworth, Luke Miller, Petra van Noort, Joseph Poulson and Darrin Wright surprised and delighted me with their generous teaching spirits and true encouragement. And lecturers Deborah Jowitt and Lisa Kron offered profound and hard-won insights into the creation of meaning in dance and performance. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with such eminent artists and scholars. It was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Highlights of the week:
–Two long days exploring tools for movement and choreographic invention. Company members led us through various games and exercises geared to opening our creative and critical faculties for finding new voices and idioms in our work. Lots of discussion, LOTS of moving and so so fun.
–Working sessions in which we, the choreographers, worked with the dancers on small studies which we showed and discussed with the entire group later in the day. In addition to working with some fabulous fellow students, I had the pleasure of directing Darrin, Kristen and Luke in various sessions and was humbled by their reception and, of course, masterly execution of the ideas we were exploring. Particularly satisfying was the day we turned Darrin into a sinister lettuce-grabber…but that’s another post altogether.
–One-on-one meetings with Susan. She just kills me. So smart, so savvy and thoughtful. One of our conversations opened my eyes to a deeper, more nuanced and powerful way of viewing and guiding the creative process. I have little patience for “anything goes” kind of art and tend to overwork my stuff in a too-controlled backlash. Susan helped me to become more open to “anything” while still retaining a specific, directive voice to make carefully crafted decisions on what eventually “goes”.

Now that I’m working on a new piece for Seam (in four weeks–aaa!), I’m even more grateful for the rich and changing Sumac experience. Through close collaboration with my most excellent cast I’m finding WAY more freedom and power in our explorations and am now in the curious position of channeling a huge torrent of great ideas, rather than trying to make my narrower ones push out into something bigger. What a great problem to have…

Review: Juliette Binoche and Akram Khan, In-I

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

In contrast to the preceding review, this one will be fairly short. Let this be seen as a reflection on the profundity of the work, as well as an acknowledgment of other thorough reviews already written, with which this writer heartily agrees:
Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times
Judith Mackrell, the guardian
The only thing I’d like to add to these thoughts is that I really enjoyed a FEW moments of this overlong piece. The beginning did capture me, causing me to forget that I had paid $28 to climb 70 stairs to sit on a square-foot precipice of a stool to view the work. (To those of you who haven’t seen me in a while: for about another 3 months this body is not meant to sit at 90-degree angles…thankfully, the other three shows in my subscription to BAM’s Next Wave Festival are at the more spacious Opera House rather than the Harvey…) I was very impressed with Binoche’s abandoned and exact execution of Khan’s thrown and raw floor material, and I also really liked a duet against the back wall late in the piece. Otherwise, ditto on the above reviews…
Still, I’m glad I went, and glad I didn’t shell out more for the slightly more comfy-looking seats far down below.