Friday, December 18, 2009

during the break

howdy everyone...it's alex, and i hope you are all having a great holiday season. just because our season is over for the time being...the work doesn't stop at all. we are all still some dancing fools! Maryjane just finished a show last week with GLOatl, Claire is working with George Staib, Blake is busy creating work for his own show this coming spring, and Corian and I are busy working with Greg Catallier (for the same show Claire is in)...also, Corian and I are performing in The Big Freeze, a burlesque/variety show at Eyedrum this Friday and Saturday (the 18th and 19th), tickets are 10 bucks.

also...corian is busy exercising his creative energy by beginning work on a new dance to be performed in late january, actually the same weekend as the Staib/Catallier show...haha, that should be fun (since some of the people cast are in all of those shows!). logistics aside, here is a short snippet of a "fun" movement pattern we have been working on. as you can see, dance isn't always about razzle-dazzle...sometimes you gotta think too!


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Happy Holidays!

This is Claire the office person stepping back in just to say "Happy Holidays" to anyone who's reading the blog and to let you know that the dancers are off until Jan. 20. They'll be back in the studio and back to blogging about their adventures then!
Have a safe, warm and happy holiday!
--Claire and all of us at SDC

Thursday, December 10, 2009

the point?

so what is the point, or "the point" (as a dance)??? i don't know...and maybe that is the point. i probably can't explain it in words...because we are dancers...we dance (duh). it is a performing art...it is meant to be seen. in this video, claire is trying to explain her point of view as a dancer in the trio that corian created.

maybe the point is about differences and similarities, relationships and solo studies, intention and dynamics, needs and wants...it is hard to put into words, but i think individually we all clearly know what it feels like personally. how else can we move an audience, if as performers we are not clear with ourselves as to what our own personal journey is...so that then as a collective we can move foward in this endeavor together. what is even more beautiful is that Sue (our fearless leader) doesn't even know what "the point" is...i'm sure she has ideas, but the fact that we are all in this together is comforting.

maryjane yesterday said something that spoke volumes about this dance (the point)..."we are all going for the same thing, but trying to find it in different ways."

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so that is what happened the first half of rehearsal today...the second half was yet another layer added upon this whole process. we had a 25 minute improv where we took each layer from the wall drawing, our solo phrases, the laban studies, and the movements that we learned/taugh one another...and combined them to have a vast bank full of movement possiblities...and then adding onto that the possibility for human interation (or contact). sue also played DJ and gave us a varied musical pallette that affected the emotional atmosphere of the improv....

of course, this is my own recollection and experience of the work...and it was beautiful, heartbreaking, bonding, lush, and simple...all in all, it was a good day...another day we all got to live, work...and most of all dance.

tomorrow we have class, a little bit of work...and then a christmas party, but no more point work...so it begs the questions: What is the point? What do you need to survive? what is your intention? what dynamic choices do you make? and lastly, how does it feel?

once you have possibly answered those questions...i ask you this...where do you go from there?

melt with you

"i'll stop the world and melt with you"...i love that song! it is not completely off subject either...today we had a master workshop by karen wells, she taught us M.E.L.T. Method that is a "revolutionary approach to pain-free longevity that helps you stay healthy, youthful, and active for a lifetime." having experienced one class...i can agree and say that it was amazing. everyone in the workshop today vocalized how much this one class made a difference. it was instantaneous!

we also touched on work from Eric Franklin, did some exercises with Thera-Bands, and all kinds of other good cross-training stuff. the M.E.L.T. work was the most successful (at least in my opinion). there was one exercise in particular that had a vast impact on everyone...we laid on the floor and put the M.E.L.T. roller under our sacrum, then proceeded to rock our pelvis up and down that simultaneously worked out our lower lumber and engage our abdominals/work our core. after it was over, it felt as if i did melt (for lack of a better word) into the floor after just a few exercises. it was relaxing and invigorating at the same time. i feel like i had a great night's sleep without ever actually going into a REM cycle! i just thought i would share with you that experience...i highly recommend looking into M.E.L.T. and would advise any movers out there to invest in the M.E.L.T. specific rollers...you life will change!

now...onto more point rehearsal...hope you are all having a wonderful day!

p.s. hopefully karen becomes my friend on facebook and i can share various pictures and videos she took from out class today :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

where does it live?

happy wednesday! we are back in the studio from our regularly scheduled day off...tuesday. i am able to say that i did nothing yesterday...well, i did laundry (yay for clean clothes)...but it was great to sit on the couch for about 5 hours and watch tv shows and goof off on the internet! so....after a restful day, we have a very full day today.


blake taught a very relaxed and beautiful class...we just finished doing some work on the point (which i will discuss later)...now is lunch, but after that we are getting all beautified and having a photoshoot! so we all have to get our hair right and tight...beating our mugs...and practicing our America's Next Top Model couture poses in the mirror...haha! so if you are anywhere near decatur this afternoon we are having an outdoor photoshoot...come look at us make sexy faces for our close-ups...


having said all that...let's get to the real meat and potatos of it all...working on The Point. it was interesting today to see the other groups show their work. if you remember, i showed my duet with maryjane...which i had trouble finding words for...today, it was great to see different dancers struggle with trying to find the details in the movement. inherently, when you teach someone movement material...it is difficult to get all the nuances of the movement, so when you are dancing it is sometimes easy to see which are the more "difficult" parts of the movement.



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maryjane is trying to get corian to feel where the movement lives in his body...which is not an easy task. it is usually easiest for the person who made the movement to perform the movement, whereas due to inherent structural differences in everyone's bodies...it is challenging to translate someone's movement onto their own body.

such is the struggle in dance...however, one of the joys of working on this piece (thus far) is that there is not a huge emphasis on keeping the movement exactly the same. what we were focusing on was intentionality, if that is a word, and dynamics. we each had to change the dynamics in our movement, and to help in that we had to clarify the intentions of our movement.


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my favorite part of these videos is corian's face...that sounds harsh, and maybe a little weird, but you can actually see the frustration...but he is frustrated because he is working so hard to find what maryjane is trying to explain to him. all in all...it's just another day at work!

Monday, December 07, 2009

finding the words

howdy folks...it's alex again, i'm back...by popular demand (well, not quite, but i would like to believe that is true :) any-who, i hope everyone had a great holiday and ate lots of turkey or whatever your favorite thanksgiving dish was. we are entering our last week of work for the season and then we have an extended break and resume working in mid-january. however, the work doesn't stop...we are currently diving back into "The Point" work.

i feel the objective is to really solidify and clarify any previous work we have done so that when we do return we can more easily access that information. that being said, now when we show work "in progress," we have to be really clear with ourselves (and to one another) with what our movement phrases really mean. that sounds weird, but it's true. we talked the other day about how being a dancer doesn't only mean we dance around trying to be pretty all day...we have to be clear with what we are trying to say/do with our bodies. so...we have to be able to verbalize and talk about our bodies, our intentions, our ideas....our art!

this comes in handy when you are teaching your movements to other people in the company. i take a very metaphorical approach to what i am trying to do...more concerned with how it feels, what the internal dialogue is like, or even providing an abstract visual to what i want to accomplish. dealing with the human body is really fascinating because everyone is so unique...what works for me, may not necessarily work for maryjane, or corian; so how can i best communicate my intentions to someone to get them to stay honest to my movement. hence...all the conversation...


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to give some background...we were given the task of making a list of a maximum of 20 things we need to survive (sounds easy)...we made the list, each with varying numbers of things we each needed to survive. from that list, we had to narrow it down to 10...then to 3...then to one essential thing needed to survive...mine, ultimately was...love. so in exploring that i created a phrase that i taught to maryjane. from there we have been investigating and working on clarifying what i want to get at with the movement.

so now, you have an inside look on how i ramble and wax philosophically to try to communicate the inspiration for my phrase. it may only really make sense to me...but those are the only words i could find at the time. and from my body language, it is difficult for me to find anything concrete to help people understand. as a person, i am inspired images, abstraction, and feelings...so as a dancer it isn't that different. i will admit, it is hard for me to find the proper words to express how my approach to creating dance/movement.

however, i have to find the happy medium and at least attempt to find some way to help someone else understand what i want...so that they can begin the journey to find how that will work on their body. that is why dance is fascinating...we have to be able to get other dancers to find their entry point into the movement, and how it feels emotionally, physically, and mentally. then, after that is the added difficulty of getting the audience to understand...it is a task, and sometimes it is difficult, and the dancer (or audience) may not understand...and that is ok too, but if you can reach just one person...one person, that is all it takes, then it is considered a job well done.

but i will be the first to admit...it is very difficult!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Phrase Construction December 4








Claire captured some interesting moments shown above.

MJ explaining the feeling she got while performing Alex's phrase and Corian attentively watching another phrase.

Today we used personal phrase material, taught it to another dancer and then chose a specific pathway to perform it on.

Our options had to be in a square... so we chose parallel lines, right angles, three sided boxes, diagonals...

It was interesting to teach a fellow dancer our phrase because our phrases were extremely personal to us. It was fun to collaborate with eachother and give feedback to the other groups/pairings performances... it was very "show and tell."

CPC at HSPVA

November trip to Houston

During our trip to Houston we had the opportunity to teach a class at the High School of Performing and Visual Arts.

Patton began the class with focus on the spine and the relationship of the lower and upper body working separately and how they work together.

MJ took the floor next with a few combinations to get the students moving their bodies thru space with different levels of energy and intention.

Claire wrapped up the class with some educational tools using Laban Technique as her source.

Below you can watch Claire lead the class in Laban inspired phrases, including the A Scale.
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