Work Song: Adjustments
So, I’m writing this at 3 AM, but scheduling it for Actual Morning.
We’ve had a late casting change for Work Song. My other boy wound up with a bounty of work projects, and he’s swamped. I’m fine with that; in the gig economy that feeds so many artists, you have to strike while the iron is hot. I love his work, so I’m excited about seeing more of it down the line, even though it means losing him for this piece.
Last night I asked GM, a fellow aerialist, if he’d like to try jumping in. His formal training in dance is pretty minimal, but he’s a very good mover. I think he’ll be able to roll with it. AM, AS, and I will be able to coach him on technique.
Interestingly, bringing in a less-experienced dancer has helped me to streamline my choreography a bit. I had about five different ideas for the third phrase, and only one of them is something I’d feel confident handing to someone with limited dance vocabulary.
It’s good to work with limitations. They make decision-making easier and help to shape the finished work. Just as the stone tells the sculptor what figure lies within, sometimes the dancers shape the vision of the choreographer.
We should be able to start rehearsing next week or the first week of January.
Ultimately, this piece is only about 3.5 minutes long. The rehearsal process will be less about learning the choreography, which shouldn’t be too hard, and more about making it really sing. There’s a lot of partnering in this piece, though it’s largely not of the classical-ballet bent. GM takes acro with me, so I suspect he can handle it. Timing and musicality are the open questions, one everyone learns the choreography.
I guess, really, this is my first professional project as a choreographer-director. I’m learning on the fly how to cast dancers, schedule rehearsals, teach choreography to four busy performers with very different backgrounds, make costuming decisions, and so on and so forth.
Having done it once, I feel like doing it again won’t be so difficult. The biggest ongoing challenge will be finding rehearsal spaces on a budget of $Zip.ZilchNada. The nice part in this case is that rehearsal space is built in. I teach with AS, and this performance is part of the Instructors’ Showcase, so we will be rehearsing at the studio.
Finding dancers isn’t incredibly difficult. I’ve managed to connect with a decent handful of adult ballet students who want to perform, including a fairly advanced core group. My aerials family is made up mostly of very game performers, a few of whom have reasonable dance training.
I might have to learn how to do fundraising stuff. The internets should make that easier.
I’m pretty excited about all of this. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the cat-herding involved in scheduling rehearsals 😛
That might not be as bad as it could be, though, because we’re all attached to the aerials studio, and we all spend a lot of time there.
More to come. It’s weird how far 2016 (the Year of the Dumpster Fire) has taken me as a dancer. No matter what I’ve said, one year ago I wouldn’t have predicted that I’d be staging a piece (for four dancers!) with so much confidence.
Gives me something to look forward to in 2017 (which, hilariously, is the Year of the Cock).