Chicago Photography Center

77I wanted to share what an incredible collaboration we have just embarked on….

I am always looking for awesome photographers to help us document and share our dancing. Enter Arn Klein, instructor with the Chicago Photography Center. He stopped by our rehearsal last Saturday (and is coming again this week) and shared his wonderful passion and talent with us. We talked briefly about trying to capture the “work” that we do – the movement, the sweat – that part of dance that resists being photographed. I didn’t want another pretty picture of an arabesque or a finished, statuesque pose. Those pictures are always beautiful, but I don’t think they represent my choreography very well.

So, he sent us some preliminary edits of his work and they are beautiful. There are a bunch on our facebook page and they are gorgeous! He is going to share this project with his students and invite them into our rehearsals/dress rehearsals of Voyager. Hopefully they like working with us as much as we like this attention! The results are gorgeous and we would love to share some prints with you in the lobby at our upcoming show. Speaking of which…..

GET YOUR TICKETS! (reserve in advance, limited seating)
Tickets on sale for Voyager. Just click here or call 773-327-5252.

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Tickets on sale for Voyager. Just click here or call 773-327-5252.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little bit of our work. We’ve been busy and sweaty and are counting down the days until we share this finished piece with all of you!

For the past couple rehearsals we have been working on a section that explores the difference between sending and receiving information. This was obviously a significant part of the Golden Record. Sagan and NASA sent out this amazing message, but they weren’t even sure they were capable of receiving a response – if there ever was one.

I am continually struck by this deep contrast between speaking so forcefully – as the Golden Record does – and a perceived intent to listen.

In order to infuse the choreography with these ideas, I turned rehearsal into a game oftelephone. I would stand in front of Melissa, Nicole, Natalia and Jordan and improvise 10-15 seconds of movement. Then I would give them about 2 minutes to decipher my moves and reinterpret them into something that they could form into a set dance phrase. By doing this over and over, and connecting all the various 10 second fragments, we ended up with 5 beautifully different versions of the same dance. Each solo (all danced simultaneously) is filled with wonderfully honest moments of stutter, listen, confusion and translation. The end product was a perfect reminder than language – whether it is dance or written word – is always being digested, processed and changed. Each person brings parts of herself to what is said and the result is never without complication.

The 10 second phrases became the sending/speaking and the stuttered transitions are the anxious waiting for a response.

Telephone turned out to be fun, productive and the end result was and continues to be fascinating. Because each dancer has a different version of the dance and the timing of the steps isn’t prescribed – each time we rehearse this part it is new and different.

Whew! I hope that makes sense. As always – turning danced ideas into words is hard work! If that was confusing, I promise to post a video soon.

🙂 Lizzie


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