Tenth Rehearsal

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

Welcome back, Colby!

Hope everyone had a great spring break. I’m gonna go ahead and say it–there’s nothing quite like a week in Miami for vacation. Absolutely beautiful. Anyway, we’re back in the ‘ville now and Ellie and I are working hard to get Float in performance shape. We had a pleasant surprise this morning when we arrived at the studio to find Annie’s dance company warming up. They didn’t stay very long, but it was great to see professional dancers’ warm-up routines and exercises. After some stretching of our own, Ellie and I ran through the piece a couple of times, working out the kinks from being away for a week. We decided to try dancing to different music in order to concentrate more on the movements, rather than the exact synchronization of music to choreography. I found the mismatched music distracting, which actually may have prepared me for auditory and other distractions that could arise during the New Works performance. However, I think sticking to the original Float music will help me prepare the best.

Before break, Ellie and I had asked Todd Coulter, a professor in the Theater and Dance department, to take a look at our progress during this rehearsal so we could get advice from an acting point of view. Before we performed the piece for Todd, we explained the background of Float and the intentions and inspirations that guided Julian through the choreographic process. Just from the short conversation about the dance, I began to think more deeply about the character I am portraying and how his movements simultaneously reflect personality and performance. After viewing our piece, Todd had a number of helpful suggestions ranging from movement advice to character development. He encouraged us to explore the GOTE of our characters, which stands for Goals, Obstacles, Tactics, and Expectations. This acting technique allows the performer to closely examine the reasoning behind a character’s actions, or in our case, dance movements. By looking at this aspect of our performance, I can get a better understanding of the shifts between alone vs. together and the changes within those parts of the choreography.

Meeting with Todd was great as he gave me an idea of the importance of this character exploration, even for a dance piece. Even small suggestions, such as not holding my breath during jumps and lifts, had a large impact on my performance. His overall message of “release” seemed to provide me and Ellie with a new direction for our movements. I can’t wait to see what Julian thinks of everything when we Skype with him Thursday!

Keep it real Colby,


  1. Sounds like you had a great rehearsal with Todd and that it was informative to get some coaching from a dramaturgical point of view. As you continue to consider the development of your “characters” and your relationship to the music, you might play with your own agency in process and in performance–how does each of YOU live inside the character and in the structure. Similarly, how is your relationship to the music developing in such a way that it is distinctly your own? What is the energetic arc of the piece and how does that set up a structure, which you, as performers, negotiate anew in each run? What might it mean to consider your performances an act of negotiation versus execution? Keep asking questions. Nice work!

  2. loganellie says:

    Great post Logan! Meeting with Todd was extremely helpful. Before speaking with him I thought of the piece as a whole physical entity with meaning and specific movements, but now I realize how important it is to have a purpose and an emotional intention and reason behind every movement. This intentionality will help me to put more effort and emotion behind each action. I also thought his tip to make each movement bigger and more obvious was helpful. There is a difference between powerful sweeps, and graceful sweeps; closed elbows and open arms. These distinctions will bring life to the piece and make our intentions more clear to the audience.

    ~ Ellie

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