Day 6 Pulling together

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Day 6 Sun rui day 6 Wang yabin day 6 Wu shuai day 6 zhibou 1

Day 6 Pulling together

Wayne’s blog comment reminds me to write what I respect and learn from Kerry as she works. Her tireless driving energy and rhythmic pace is an inspiration, as is her thorough preparation of material, her ability to demonstrate and translate the language onto the dancers bodies, her patience and her ability to cut the crap and get on with it.  Yet there is something else very special that I learn to do with how Kerry relates in the studio. She has the ability to surrender to the creative process. I don’t mean a ‘giving up’, but a generosity, a giving of self to the dance that emerges, a giving of self to the relational dialogue. What I mean by this is that the work is not about her, rather the translation of material between them. She leaves her ego elsewhere to be inside the process with the dancers. Her body acts as a conduit, through which the material passes, from its history with Random, through Kerry to the dancers. There is humility here and a lack of self-consciousness. At the same time she directs with authority and drive, there is no room for doubt in the studio. I learn a lot from this quality of delivery: her play between drive and surrender.

(Yes, doubt can be a creative tool as it open up the gaps, but not here, not in a two-week process with a piece to make).

Saturday. We begin at 11am with a warm up class. Five dancers all on time!

Small group, talk the plan for the day:

This is every thing we have done so far. (Kerry shows the dancers her hand written list of numbered items, each one crossed off). There are some things we will be able to forget but I want to see them today and then I can tell you if we can throw them away. We have 25 things, 2 or 3 we can’t do because Wu weifeng is injured. Without him we have 21 and I want to see them with clarity and precision.

Kerry leads a short 2-hour rehearsal, going through all the material so far. After each fragment she cleans up some details before moving on. She demonstrates the material when necessary, indicating where she wants the stops, changes in quality, space directions, unison moments, breaks in the material and emphasizing specific gestures that have got lost. Here are the fragments:

Phrase 1

Phrase 2

I am thinking about plie here, eyes are to the audience, drop out. Sharp elbow.

Phrase 3

Knee clasp with double pirouette. What did we say yesterday about this, travel, moving, I am moving, remember crab, crab?  I am thinking about my ear… Lets try again everybody.

Wang lei solo

Walking in from upstage, shake, and stop. Ooze, pin, scythe, flick.

Men feet phrase.

Knee, up, screw heel, fouette, thigh lift, knee, limp sideways, slide, cut through, skidder. Wu shuai ends the phrase by falling into ‘splits’. Don’t do that Wu shuai or I will put it in! Laughter follows.

Men & women, feet and arms. (Track 2.29)

Can I see the arms on their own please?

Its not small, its about reaching away from you, something is happening here as well, this is sharp, then remember the tortoise, heavy.

Kerry attends to the details of the hands and wrists.

Wu shuai and Wu weifeng duet — can’t do today.

Kerry’s unison duet

Begins with fingers pointing to shoulders and roll down through spine. Includes the partner work, tortoise head movement, head to partner’s stomach, split leg drags, women lifted parallel to floor.

Sun rui solo

Points and lines duets

Do you remember your points and lines solos? Well you don’t need to, you can forget forever. We have the duets with that material.

Duet with Wang lei and Wu weifeng. Cannot do today.

Sun rui and Zhao zhibou duet

Zhibou solo

She is working well, the lines are more defined and clear, she is gathering strength, she seems more weighted.

Yabin solo

Men floor material

Exquisite, sharp, sorting out timing – with laughter.  Playful teasing relationships between Kerry and the men.

Sextet (water) – can’t do without Wu weifeng.

Stopping duets

Kerry wants them close together in space, four bodies of complex material. She sorts out timing, so lifts come together, unison shapes, and canon after the stop.

Sun rui & Wu weifeng. Duet (not today)

The line coming forward.

Wu shuai solo:

I love you Wu shuai! (‘I love you too’ he responds – they tease).

Very clean, very nice.

Visualisation solos

Kerry runs all the material in a constructed order, which is split into two sections.

She then runs the material again, running sections 1 and 2 together.

The piece is beginning to take shape. The weaving and linking from solos to duets and trios and quartets is well paced and Kerry’s meticulous attention to timing has paid off as one fragment slips and overlaps into another.

A good week’s work. How do you feel? Tired. I am very happy at the end of week one.

Tomorrow you sleep, eat chocolate, sleep. Any body want to say anything to me?

Thank you guys.

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