The rehearsal process can be incredibly isolating at times. Even when working within a group, you all know each other and the material so well it can be hard to see outside of it and really make choices based on how an audience may eventually read your dance. You spend months working on a piece of a nugget of an idea with no outside eyes or perspectives. You know EXACTLY why you’ve made every tiny choice, where each impulse came from, and how it all feeds into the bigger picture, and yet, you have never tried to see how those choices and impulses and ideas are perceived or felt by others.
It can be terrifying showing your work to others for the first time. And it is an essential part of our process. With PRODUCE the past four weeks, Alicia and I took a newborn-baby-dance that we have had very little time to mine yet and it was incredibly freeing. The format of the event, being a “laboratory for chaos” was a magnificent way in which to show the first inklings of our new process. Since we knew our work would only be seen in its “intended form” once throughout all four weeks, the fact that we weren’t at all married to an “intended form” was incredibly liberating. We were able to get feedback, both from our own experiences performing the material, and from outside eyes, much earlier in the process than usual. We will now be able to distill that information down into usable ingredients as we move forward with this dance in preparation for the next iteration which will be seen in The Dance Team (& Friends) show “Past is Prologue” at Links Hall November 2-4.
I was also fortunate enough to see some works in progress last night at the Dancebridge Showcase at the Cultural Center. I was particularly struck by Kate Corby & Dancers’ work. So much intricate and fully-embodied physicality from a brilliant group of dancers. Kate Corby clearly knows how to surround herself with talented, intelligent and strong dancers, and her direction manifests itself in some compelling and hard-hitting work. Being in a room with that many smart dancers and dancemakers keeps me enchanted with this community and excited for what is being made.