Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Flynn N.A.S.A. Grant Recipient Ellen Smith Ahern - Blog #2

Tuesday, April 6 - "We’ve spent the last few rehearsals working with the relationship of text to movement. For one, it’s fascinating to explore the range of possibilities that arise when you simply layer text over movement you’ve already built. Play-boxing and salsa steps become lonely when layered with text about middle school recess. Pacing the room while reading an ad for yourself as if you are a used car feels sweet, funny and earnest. Twisting on the ground like a pretzel for minutes at a time takes on new poignancy when accompanied by a monologue about fear and paranoia."

"Sometimes the text boxes you in. Putting a verbal story to movement inevitably limits (or at least challenges) what is being communicated non-verbally. It has been fun and thought-provoking to explore these lines with the guys. As they are new to generating dance, the words seem to give them an access point to the abstract movement, making it all a little more comfortable and familiar—the trick is to not rely too much on this, which is also, to be fair, a huge challenge for me."

"We’re also playing with the text and movement from the another angle, isolating movement cues and/or movement-evocative language from writings, taking them right out of their contexts, and stringing them together with other cues to form sequences of choreography. It’s great to give four people the same list of cues (jump, wait, back-of-the-hand, circle, etc.) and see what contrasts arise. Thus far, this has been a good way to cultivate a creative atmosphere in the group, in which everyone feels comfortable sharing their own work and commenting on others’ work."

"We’ve got a work-in-progress showing of our material this weekend, and it will be exciting to see what new life the guys and their work take on with a live audience and two other dances as bookends. Come check it out at Designhaus Art Gallery, 22 Church Street, 2nd floor. April 9 at 8 pm, April 10 at 4 pm and 8 pm. Reserve tickets at 207.240.7288 ($12/10 students)."

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