Friday, October 30, 2009

yay friday!

so today is friday...yay friday! this is some of the solo material that corian and i both did yesterday. the above video is me...

the below video is corian's solo phrase. the directions for this solo exploration were the same directions used for the duet phrase.


these phrases came after our work in the morning creating the duet phrase. for my phrase, the idea i was using for my solo "phrase" (which is more of an exploration) was that on our actual wall, in the studio that we drew on earlier this week, there is a small section of small concentrated "sqwiggles" and circles that create this dense cloud of black. the density and energy of that small portion of the wall is quite fascinating to me just because it is such a small statement, but because it is so highly concentrated...the impact of it is very impressive. so the idea i was playing with was how to i can be small and concentrated, like that section of the wall, but slowly allow that small movement to inform the rest of my body. in essence, it is a chain reaction...but once the energy actually ends up "exploding" i allow it to slowly circle back to the beginning, instead of allowing it to run rampant.

that is just a small glimpse into what i was working with...because i feel that the nugget of information i was working with could be more fine-tuned (but so can anything you work with). however, i am also content in letting that movement phrase/idea exist on its own.

and that folks...was the rest of the work that we did yesterday afternoon while the rest of the group worked upstair on "Tus Pasos."

so on today, friday...we have been working with Sue, and she has been manipulating our duet phrase material into a "duet" that may...or may not...exist in the actual dance. however, it is all part of the bigger picture and process of us becoming comfortable in the material, and with Sue becoming more familiar with the way we (the newer members of CORE) move. on that note, it also works in reverse...since this is our first venture with Sue at the head of it, we are also becoming more familiar with the way she choreographs on us as her dancers.

here is the latest version (the one Sue has worked on with us) that we created today...

well everyone...that's all for this week. hope you all have a great weekend and a happy halloween! see you all next week!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

return of the kleiber!!!!

howdy, howdy everybody....i haven't blogged in a few days. we normally have tuesdays off...and yesterday (wednesday) i just dropped the ball. there was a lot of good stuff i could have gotten on camera, but i was just too slow to get it. lots of great improv work as an entry-point to get into The Point (which is our new dance that is in the works). so...i apologize. but believe me, if it was captured on would have blown your mind. before we went into the work yesterday, we all checked in to see where we were in the process of things and our "fearless leader" Sue Schroeder just gave us some things she wanted us to play with that really fed all of our work.

anyway...i am pleased to announce the return of Kim Kleiber, who is coming out of "retirement" for the houston performance of Alicia Sanchez's work "Tus Pasos Encontrados." here is a short snippet of the gang (MaryJane, Claire, Blake...and Kim) putting the dance back together. by the way, this dance will be performed November 14th at the Wortham Theatre in downtown Houston for Quirky Works presented by The Houston Met with guests Travesty Dance Group (Houston) and CORE performance company.

because corian and i are not in this dance, our assignment to day was to work on the point, both individually and together. we used the improv we did yesterday as a jumping off point for a phrase we were to create together...and for phrases we created seperately. the improv yesterday was another improv that came from Sol Lewitt's "Wall Drawing #65..." and the assignment led to some fun, interesting material.

this first video is of the duet phrase that corian and i created. to start off we just discussed some things that we were working with...for instance, how can we cut the three dimensional space with our limbs, or how do we make lines that are "not straight"? then we worked in a "ping-pong" sort of method where we took turns creating material where the previous person left off. having worked with corian many time was a nice challege to work in this different way. it definately was a 50/50 collaboration.

so that is just a little taste of what went on today...corian and i also made up individual phrases...but alas, the day is over and i have to get to my other i will post those videos tomorrow at some point! hope you guys enjoy a glimpse into all the different goings on at CORE. this is alex...peacing out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

life on the road...

hey's me, alex, again. i know i just posted that previous blog about stuff that is goin on now in the studio, and i just thought i would give you some inside scoop on what it is like to travel. i've travelled before with other companies that i've danced for, but nothing to the magnitude of how much we have travelled with CORE.

we normally go to houston a few times a year...yay houston (it's my home...and corian's home too). there we perform at the Bayou City Arts Fest. it's a pretty fun gig to be able to visit home, and perform there on a regular basis. BCAF is an interesting event because we aren't performing in a traditional theatre setting, we are out and about amongst the crowd...but we normally don't look anything like them. for instance, this past spring we were in Memorial Park and underneath our street clothes we had on various bright orange clothing...that before we started dancing we would strip off our "pedestrian garb" and reveal these bright orange
"get-ups." it was awesome because it would really get peoples' attention. also, the BCAF provides the people who attend a chance to witness some "renegade art."

we storm the festival grounds in our wonderous costumes and perform for everyone...this also makes for some pretty amazing photo-ops. i say that because in that setting, and in this day in age where everyone has a camera, people take all kinds of photos...and some turn out pretty amazing...

like this one of MaryJane and myself from photographer Burnell Mccray.

we were talking not too long ago about how it feels to perform in a situation such as that...and i have to say it requires a different kind of focus and attention, as a performer, than normal proscenium theatres that people are more adjusted to. as a performer, you have to deal with ambient noise and business...such as crying babies, or the smell of food cooking...or even hearing the audience whisper about the "weird dance stuff" that is going on. then you have moments like this...captured forever on film...definately a moment that most photographers wouldn't be able to get in a photoshoot at a this was live, and very real. the funny part is...i don't remember him taking this picture...well, of course, because my eyes are closed :)

so that is what it is like in houston....this season before we did BCAF in downtown Houston, we went to Conway, Arkansas! we did a performance at the University of Central Arkansas in the Baum Gallery for an art festival they were having....and we also had residencies and performances at local schools. i don't have many photos from either of those...however, i do have some candid shots from the car ride to Arkansas...

i probably shouldn't be allowed to have a camera on tour....what else is there to do when you're all in one car and people start passing out one by one after a long day of travel. Arkansas was definately a fun tour....during the school shows we left lasting impressions on many kids, during the Baum performance we challenged (in a good way) the mind of many art-goers, during the master class we opened the eyes of many kids to what modern dance can entail. it was a lot of hustle and bustle, going from one performance to the hotel, to rehearsal, to eat, to another performance, back to rehearsal...then dinner, then to the hotel to pass out and sleep (or watch tv...that's what i mostly did). so it can be taxing...but in the end i probably wouldn't have it any other way. plus, i felt like it bonded us as a company...the final evening we all went out to eat at a nice restaurant with the musicians that played for us.

sidenote: on our way to conway we stopped at this restaurant in Hazen, Arkansas to grab a bite to eat. they had good ole'fashioned southern food...which means a lot of fried stuff...YUM! i was one of the few people to get the buffet of the day which was all you can eat chicken fried steak, homemade mashed potatos, salad, fried green tomatos, broccoli cheese, and a complimentary fried pie. i had never had fried green tomatos in my life (i love the movie though) i decided to try it...when in Rome (in this case Hazen, Arkansas)! it was was one of those small, but infinitely memoriable moments. that is the beauty of being an artist with a company that travels...those small moments that open your eyes to a small sliver of what life is like outside of my own little world. so on that note...thank you Arkansas!this is a picture of my "happy plate" can see the fried green tomato in the upper right corner...

howdy...this is alex, i am one of the company members. i come from houston, tx...this is roughly about my second season with the company. also, this is one of the first of many blogs to come from me...and also from different members within the company. so enough with introductions...on to the blog!

that being said...i'm a fan of "dot, dot, dots" and i also don't like to capitalize things, so i apologize in advance.

lately in the studio we have been working on different processes to help feed us for the work we are doing for our latest dance The Point. we are working on Sol Lewitt's "Wall Drawing #65 / Lines not short, not straight, crossing and touching, drawn at random using four colors, uniformly dispersed with maximum density, covering the entire surface of the wall., 1971" (red, yellow, blue, and black pencil)...i just call it wall drawing # 65.

after class with "our fearless leader" Sue...we revisited our movement phrases with the work that we started friday. we each developed individual movement phrases based on the instructions of Wall Drawing # 65...and the instructions for the drawing is also the title. so after recalling all of our work, we spent time putting them into duets and trios. Corian and Claire worked together...and Blake, MaryJane, and I worked together. that's always see how everyone can collaborate, and maintain the integrity of their own work...while also trying to accomodate their fellow dancers.

after moving our bodies, and talking about it, we then broke for lunch. we were told we were going to have an art project for the afternoon (which made me excited)! when we got back, we went back into the studio and were told that we are actually going to create Sol's Wall Drawing #65 in the studio...on one of our very own walls. so armed with the four, yellow, blue, and black, we went to work drawing lines on the wall. it was a great feeling, knowing that i was allowed to draw on the wall...and that it is part of my job! i remember being a little kid and getting into some SERIOUS trouble for doing that in our hallway...but that's another story for another day.

since i gave you a little run down of what happened at core today...i have also provided some short, live action documentation...blair witch style! this is my first attempt at documenting, and using a please forgive me if you get a little dizzy. in watching them, claire said she felt like she was in my head bc i give live commentary (which some people didn't like...but it's all in good fun). enjoy....alex...OUT!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Following the first improv, Sue and the dancers discussed what they experienced.

First Claire shared some thoughts.

Then Corian spoke.

Blake chimed in.

Followed by Mary Jane.

And Sue responded to what many had said.

The Point, day one

The dancers are starting Sue's new work by improvising around the ideas put forth in Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #65.

Her first instruction to the dancers was:

Lines not straight, not short, curving, crossing and touching

The dancers were asked to approach this as a quartet, utilizing LeWitt's medium instruction: Four different colored pencils--Red, Blue, Yellow and Black.