Day 8 preparing the ending

day 8 beginning

I spent the morning writing up yesterday’s process.


Kerry is talking to the dancers -

 — You know the sextet, the lifting phrase altogether?  Well good news, it is scrapped.

Kerry sets new line material, as a possible ending and echoing the earlier line material. Three A dancers and three B dancers. A’s are in unison, B’s are in unison. Kerry teaches two phrases of 8. This is gestural with arms, elbows and hands featuring. She then works another phrase of 8, new duet material, still in the line. She works fast, without hesitation, phrases constructed before the rehearsal began.  There is no break in the rhythm of her delivery of material.  She continues for the 4th phrase of 8, with a reworking of each dancer’s solo, which they perform together in the line, before walking upstage for 4 counts to end.

It is all in the preparation! To reach the ending within the time available, the preparations need to be thoroughly considered, which I imagine Kerry does before entering the studio. To prepare, Kerry will need to unweave from the final image, back to the first figure, in order to choreograph forward to the final image. E.g. Everybody turns and walks 4 steps upstage with her/his right leg first, which means each preceding solo needs to end with the right leg free, which affects how each solo begins, and how each solo begins depends on each dancer’s placing in the new line material, so this spacing needs to be considered before the line material is choreographed in order that the follow on material can unfold from there. And of course before any of this can happen, Kerry has decided on how many beats and phrases of 8 she requires, so that the final image will meet the end of the music.

At the end of the day I see a run of the last section of the piece.   Bother – the music ends before the material. Somewhere there is an overspill.  Kerry unravels, tightening up a few moments to see if the material will fit.  It does, tight. No gaps, no letting go, no moments of rupture or empty time. No time to breathe out.

I notice as the dancers get tired, their movements tighten, become small and tense, losing grounded-ness, breath and risk. Their gestures hit the space with short punches, rather than extend and thrust into an expanse of space.  When they are tired they work on the surface of their bodies. What they need to do is work deeper as they get tired, finding an economic use of energy that expands from inside out rather than outwards in.

Charlie Balfour has arrived (lighting designer). Just in time to see the first full run today, with 80% energy.

Then another run, 100% energy. No talking on the sides, stay focused for the dancers working in the space.  When it gets fast you need to look at each other, take time to approach each other.  You are a company of 6, not 6 soloists.

The piece is nearly there. A few gaps, a few spacing questions and then the cleaning begins!

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