Yesterday, I went to my first rehearsal for a new dance project! My super-talented friend Becky Radway is putting on a show in October, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I went to college with Becky, and have performed with her in NYC several times. For every show, she creates work that is new and different from her previous pieces, without losing sight of her signature movement style. I really enjoy working with her and am really excited to see what this show will become. More updates as we get further into the rehearsal process! Regardless of whose choreography I'm dancing, I love being in rehearsal. Even though I work hard in class to improve my technique and expand my artistry, it's the rehearsal setting (and then, later, performance) where all of that gets put into practice. A lot of the choreographers I work with—Becky included—get input and inspiration from their dancers. Yesterday, Becky gave us a series of prompts and asked us to come up with a movement phrase that traveled across the floor, based on whatever those prompts brought up in our minds and bodies. As we go on to refine those movement phrases—and believe me, like any first draft, the phrase I made yesterday needs refinement!—Becky will shape what each of us created into a cohesive part of the overall piece.
I love working like this, being given an idea or a challenge and coming up with movement that meets the criteria while showing my voice and my style. It appeals to my writer/problem-solving side. It reminds me of doing writing prompts as a way to jump-start a fiction-writing session. Sometimes you come up with something truly fabulous on the first try. Those are the best days. But other times, all you can glean from the whole mess you made up are a few small, choice movements (or sentences, as the case may be). As I write this post, I'm still going over the movement phrase I made up, thinking about what moments I like and want to keep and what probably needs to be discarded. I can't wait to get back in the studio and make it even better.
In other dance news, my summer favorite So You Think You Can Dance starts tonight! I unabashedly love this show. Plus, I've been lucky enough to interview and write about the winners of the past two seasons for Dance Spirit magazine. (Read about Season 8 winner Melanie Moore HERE and Season 9 winners Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp HERE and HERE!) I can't wait to see what this season brings, and what future dance stars we'll meet for the first time.
I'll end this dance-centric post with a video from another awesome dance show, Bunheads. Per the title of this post: It's Time to Dance!