So, this Saturday we are going to broadcast live an hour of our rehearsal.
Saturday November 23
12-1pm (Central Time)
All you have to do is click on this link to watch. You can sign up for a ustream account to comment and chat during our broadcast, or you can just sit and enjoy the view!
“Leopold Group Rehearsal Ustream”:
We’ll be working on a new duet for the Voyager piece. And the way I make duets is usually by knocking over Melissa repeatedly until something cool happens. It’s a lot of trial and error and usually a lot of bruises and laughs.
Let me know if you have any questions about how this works! Hopefully we’ll be doing it a lot more in the future. (We’re even hoping to Ustream the premiere of the piece…)
Looking for a *sound designer* and a *set designer* to work with us on the Voyager piece. It will involve a bead curtain and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. If that’s not enough incentive, I don’t know what is.
So, the other day I was skimming through my tweets and came across one from Dance Magazine editor Wendy Perron. It read:
*”New/old trend in choreography: repeating a phrase over & over. Is anyone as tired of this device as I am?”*
I am at a loss here. Now, I have disagreed with Ms. Perron’s point of view a few times but this doesn’t even seem like a point of view – more so a misunderstanding. Dance is just one of the MANY art forms that relies on repetition (otherwise called motif…) for context. Just like in written or spoken language, words are repeated for emphasis of meaning, so are dance steps or ideas. Now, I can imagine that Ms. Perron might be referring to the exhaustive repetition that some choreographers employ to a frustrating end (frustrating for the audience member that gets the point after 2 minutes but has to sit through 20) – what I like to call “endurance” art.
What ruffles my feathers just a little bit is how her tweet assumes that these choreographers bore us out of ignorance. This kind of choreographic choice is a meditation challenge, for both viewer and dancer. Can you find deeper meaning in the simple, repeated movement or is _newness_ such a haunting presence in your mind that you can’t allow yourself to sit back and find it in what you already know?
And as long as I’m on this rant, _trend?_ Come on now… This is a tool and a device and like any other, can be used both poorly and effectively. But calling repetition a trend is a strange way to attack a nuts and bolts part of dance making. For someone who makes a living in construction as well (dance making, writing, building houses, putting things together to make other things), she should be a little more understanding of this.
Let me just say, I live for this kind of word vs. dance discussion. Thank you Ms. Perron for giving me things to question and allowing me to find translation a constant and fulfilling job.
I think I’ll go fall over and stand up for a few hours and make a new dance.
(The photograph is an installation of pencils by artist Tara Donovan, one of my favorite Repetition Teachers)