Monday, November 16, 2009

Hanna Satterlee, Flynn N.A.S.A. Grant Recipient - Blog #6

Friday & Saturday, November 13 & 14 - "Each week I find we have been coming back to the same not-so-unison unison dances. For the past few weeks, I was grinding myself into the ground going over counts and details, becoming frustrated and visually confused with the project. Mike has been an incredible companion to have in the studio, as he is able to speak clearly when my brain is not thinking realistically. Perhaps unison is not the answer for this group."

"Mike helped me to realize that with our limited time frame, it is not a good idea to try to create an evening of unison movement with a group that right now is nowhere near unison in style and rhythm. Mike helped to direct the ladies trio (Andrea, Julie, and Lucille) using known choreographic tools, to give the movement some meaning and the dancers more of a relationship to each other. Breaking up the unison was something none of us really wanted to do, so thank goodness Mike stepped in to help direct."

"We all agreed that getting phrase work into a ‘dance piece’ form is often the hardest part of choreographing. Since right now there is little to resemble a skeleton behind the bits of work, meaning there is no notable theme or idea that ties all the bits together, it has been near to impossible for me to get excited over creating a piece of ‘work.’ I have been struggling to feel an urge to direct my movement into ‘dances,’ wanting rather to keep creating movement for movement’s sake. I am starting to realize though that the tidbits can be intriguing if they have a clear connector. Now is the time to figure out that missing link, and start piecing together what already exists."

"I started on Saturday with new ladies Bridget, Erin, Lida and Caroline. It had been about a month and a half since I had seen them dance at the audition. On the drive up to rehearsal my brain clicked into reality, and told me to play easy. We started the rehearsal by plugging into our calendars, which (scheduling) has unfortunately played an enormous role in this project. I began creating phrase work using a five-meter, and asked the dancers to follow my rhythm, direction and level in space, but encouraged them to make up their own details. I think this was a successful way to introduce the group to each other, and a good way to create unison movement that encouraged personal style."

"We then spent a full hour, from 10:25 am till 11:25 am each creating a solo. We had the music, floor and space for our similar inspiration, but I gave free reign for creation. I imagined seeing all five solos set to the same song. It was crazy to see how different five minds and bodies work. Perhaps these solos can act as the missing link to connect the other phrase work into one stream of an idea."

"I am eager for more solid time together, when people don’t have to leave in the middle of rehearsal for class, when I am not exhausted, when other things aren’t dominating all of our minds. I imagine the final push before the showing is about to occur, when dancers know they are going to present themselves, a new work ethic seems to arrive. I am less interested in standing as the lead director, and more interested in seeing how we as a group can pull it all together."

Next rehearsals:

Thursday, November 19 from 6 to 9pm (Hoehl Studio, 3rd floor)

Friday, November 20 from 10 am to 2:30 pm (Chase Studio, 1st floor)

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