Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wake Me When It's Over...Hopefully that's not what the audience will be thinking...

Finally all of the choreography for this piece is done. Today was the first day that we ran the piece from beginning to end in order (and of course it will need a lot of work). Since the piece is in sections, with each section being very different, I worked sporadically---working on the sections with the most "dancing" first and then filling in the more improvisational partnering sections later.

I'm excited to get together with David and see how the music and dance synch up. This piece was really different for me, because there is sooo much movement in it, but when I examined it more closely, it still works on a theme and variation concept. All of the phrases have similarities between them and there is a definite repetition of motives from section to section. The most obvious of these is a floor phrase, which I call "the restless sleep". This phrase is a lazy body-part initiated flow, which opens the dance and repeats several times throughout---it is also the phrase that ends the dance.

The ending is really interesting to me, because I originally was ending on the idea "I dreamed I was falling", which led me to create this rapid-fire phrase (based on movements from phrases throughout the piece) which is punctuated with "snapshots" of falling images, and finally ends with the dancers rolling (as if down a hill) from upstage to downstage. I was planning on ending there, but David reminded me that I had originally told him that there would be a brief end part called "the dawn breaks". This led me to come up with a concept for the end that came out of that chaos with clarity and minimalism. I want to have the lights dim on the dancers and a spot on David at the end, and the dancers repeat (in unison) the original "restless sleep" with pauses at the highest point of the phrase. The pauses gradually lengthen as the lights come up. It is kind of nice to have a piece that ends on a more peaceful and positive note, as both Rodya and Duet end pretty dramatically and decidedly less positive.

So--as promised for Karen and Andrea---the outline of Wake Me When It's Over:

Intro: The restless sleep pattern in canon (dsl), into canon of the original phrase, to seated. Unison variation on the floor, into BADABA:). First time through on the diagonal with Karen going into pauses (arm, arm and "chunk") and coming back into unison, opening to front. BADABA with lifts, unison, travels back (butt roll, pike roll, knee roll, x).

The Nightmare: Cindi (dsl) goes into jerkier variation of "restless sleep" with "shape up" variation. Karen and Andrea "shape up" off the floor and go into "Scary Girl" phrase moving towards Cindi. Cindi becomes increasingly agitated as they get closer. They finish out phrase to X. Cindi gets thrown around by her hand (cadenza---improvised within a loose structure). Karen goes into hand attack phrase which she choreographed (these overlap). Cindi's takes her to X (dsr), and when Karen finishes hers, she and Andrea go into "Scary Girl" phrase, Andrea Xing out at the suspend roll part and Karen continuing to be pulled down by her hand next to Cindi on the floor. All three "shape up" and melt down. Cindi gasps up to seated abruptly.

Sleeping Together: Karen gently reaches up to Cindi's shoulder to ease her down to "sleep". Restless sleep phrase to begin, goes into short contact improv inspired duet with back to back contact throughout the duet. Melts down.

Somnambulator (sleepwalker): Andrea slowly rises up and begins walking in a spiral (start at cs). When she walks past Cindi, Cindi stands up and begins following her. Cindi manipulates Andrea, and Andrea keeps walking. Eventually Cindi lunges down in front of Andrea, who walks up onto Cindi and Cindi carries her back to CS to "sleep". Cindi lies down near Andrea.
Insomnia: Short solo by Karen with agitated twitchy movements. (there might be a slight overlap with these sections)

I dreamed I was flying\I dreamed I was falling: (these are not two sections, because there is no going back to "sleep" between) Andrea steps up and performs her "flying" phrase (takes her to floor). Karen stands up and presses up into a handstand and performs her "flying" phrase. Cindi performs three floor shapes that represent flying and leave her in the "shape up" position where Karen pulls her up (here there should be 2 or 3 simple little jumpy partnering elements) and then all three go into Andrea's "flying" leading into a big lift of Andrea in "flying" position that travels on a diagonal (usr-dsl) and ends at CS and is held. From here the shape collapses and the dancers roll towards upstage and rise to standing all facing different directions. All perform "falling" phrase with intermittant "snapshots". As they end the phrase for the final time, they roll (us-ds) as if they are falling down a hill and end as far downstage as they can get and then lie still.
Dawn Breaks: Unison "restless sleep" phrase repeated with progressively longer pauses at the high point. As the "sun" comes up, the dancers are still looking upward.

We think it'd be nice to be kind of joky at the end and when the lights come up for the bow to act like we just woke up (yawn, stretch and rub our eyes).

That's it!

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