11th Rehearsal

Posted: April 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hey there Colby!

Logan and I had a great rehearsal today which was made even better by a Skype session with Julian! Julian skyped us from a dance studio at the university he is studying at in the Netherlands so that he could help us with the physicality of the piece in addition to giving us verbal tips.

Early on in the rehearsal Logan and I went through the piece a few times to music while the assistant manager for the New Works Festival, Mika Mintz, watched us and took notes on our movements and spacial patterns.  Julian suggested in our first skype meeting that having an audience periodically was very helpful to the execution and discovery process.  Just having Mika and Annie watching us kept me on my toes and gave me enough nerves and adrenaline to more fully execute my movements.  I found that I had more intention and urgency behind my movements when they were watching, and I worked harder to stay in character.

Before skyping with Julian, Annie helped us dive deeper into some smaller sections of the movements that we could make bigger or play with weight more.  She told me that during certain points I have to let go and really experience the movements in a way that allows me to catch myself- to solve a problem that I had made for myself in order to make the movements more real.  I think this adds a greater dimension to our movements and  a sense of honesty reality and risk.  In a duet, the ambition to make the movements more real is challenging because it requires complete trust and faith in your partner.  Logan must have faith in me that I will support his head and neck as he rolls down my arm, just as I have to trust that Logan will support me as he swings me over his shoulder.

Julian, Logan and I first discussed lighting design and costumes for the New Works Festival.  Julian told us that the most important aspect of the costumes were uniformity and a clear connection between the two dancers. After talking over the logistics we quickly moved on to performing the dance for him over skype, after which he gave us tips, suggestions, and clarifications.  He emphasized certain moments that we should freeze and linger in, as well as the importance of the clear distinction between staccato and fluid movements. He also talked to us about the importance of facial definition and the mobility of the head.  He told us that it is important to utilize all the space we can and that our movements can sometimes be grounded and animalistic, which will accentuate those moments of float in the piece.

Overall it was a fantastic rehearsal and we are scheduled to meet with Julian again on Monday night. Yay!

Until then keep warm Colby, don’t let the incoming blizzard sink your spring spirits!


  1. loganellie says:

    Great post, Ellie! Having Mika there definitely helped to maintain my effort to stay in character through the entire piece. She seemed to be very impressed with our work so far! Annie’s comments were helpful as well–she explained the difference between extending a limb while tensing up and extending while maintaining a looser control. I saw immediate results when I applied that advice to the middle of Float when we have sweeping arm and leg movements before Ellie’s solo. The choreography felt (and probably looked) more relaxed and natural while sustaining the same amount of intensity.

    It’s always great to perform for Julian since comments from the choreographer are priceless. His positive reaction to our performance was uplifting and gave me a sense that we’re nearing New Works-performance-level readiness.

    Ellie and I attended a contact improvisation jam in Portland this Saturday, which was a truly unique experience. Although Float is not necessarily contact improvisation, there are clear influences in the choreography of the piece from that dance style. For me, the jam provided another perspective to the connection between the characters in Float, as well as to the movement style within the piece.

    Can’t wait to talk with Julian again tomorrow!


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