Since I am not relying on video footage for this process (eek- the security blanket has been wrested from me!), I've decided to take notes from each rehearsal. A lot of notes.
We've met three times now.
By we, I mean myself and Meredith, Leah, Kate, Jenny and Steph.
The first time, we mostly learned some phrase work.
The second time we did the following: we reviewed the abovementioned phrasework, we danced with our eyes closed in "exact unison" with a partner, while receiving images and stories from the childhood memories of another group across the room (this was especially wondrous because each group was in a perfect square of light on the floor that was coming through the window right at 3pm), we did an improvisation where we found our bones, dissolved them, let them evaporate and then built a spiral staircase from them.
The third time, I talked for a good while, and for some reason I felt like I needed to be sitting behind a table. I felt extremely exhausted and vulnerable, but I was also enwondered and enraptured at the prospect of spending time in a dance studio with some people I really respect and admire. We started with the Unison Transmission score I briefly touched on above. Then, each of the dancers made a movement heirloom and we strung them together into a folk dance. We talked about the skill and the interest of "meanwhiling" which I will try to explain later. We also reviewed the 2 phrases we already knew and I taught them one more little strand of material I had been working with.
During the Unison Transmission score, here is what I wrote (I also drew some shapes):
Into the hip, pressing the air down, heels and faster shifts, Upright, Floor, where do the transmissions hit you? What happens when we touch? Parallel lines, backs of heads. tucking legs in, ball changes. CROSS STITCH.
We then talked all together because dialogue is so critical to my process (all processes?)
Score as content? Does the viewer need to know the score? Moments of unison are most exciting, perhaps, when you know what the score is.
Last week we were in silence, this week we used a piece that I had Jazer work on for me. It engenders a different sort of listening. No better or worse than silence. It unifies. Weather. Landscape. "My ears were full." "I couldn't hear my partner moving." "Drowning in sound." Vacuum, disorientation.
"I could trust that stories were going to come." TRUST. Exercise in faith. Leap of faith. Believing in something I can't see.
Notes from the practice, as written by the dancers, in no particular order:
Meredith wearing white high tops and a pink floral skirt, riding a bike, wispy curls trailing.
Leah jumping with legs crossed and arms straight out to the side.
Meredith sitting outside on a hill listening to what one of her friends is saying,
Leah with a gray shaggy medium sized dog.
Leah swimming in the ocean.
Meredith sitting on a bed after a shower. Its nighttime and the light is dim.
Leah in High School. Sneaking with a friend behind some parked cars in a dark alley.
Meredith carrying a huge tower of books.
Leah standing with her back against a full-length mirror that she's afraid she might have broken.
You are alone in a bedroom. It is a child's room but not yours. You are scared. You hold the hand of a teddy bear.
In a boat, far away from land. The sun is shining bright and you notice for the first time how the water sparkles in the light (it reminds you of a necklace you have seen)
Faith. Thinking about how you said you became obsessed with Catholicism at age 9. The first impression that came to me with this score was that I needed to make a leap of faith and believe in what I couldn't see in order to move.
Thinking about how perhaps empathy or connecting with someone else's experience is really always about one's own experience. In trying to receive transmissions from Kate and Steph, I was aware that I was really projecting my own experiences perhaps in some subconscious way.
At the end of the score, an image of hands at a window, a dark window, a barn window? Hands mostly still. This dissolved into a more abstract image of fingers and toes, digit, still behind glass, with a darkened background.
Steph: In the car really young. In a carseat almost asleep. Eyes closed. Seeing shadows through eyelids.
Laying on the grass with a friend and looking at the sun. Closing eyes and seeing inverse colors.
Twin bed in a purple (lilac? or pink. too dim to tell) room. Bed shoved in a corner. Sitting in a ball with a book on your lap, reading in dim shadowy light peeking through white curtains that are mostly closed.
Kate: laying on a hammock hung up between trees and under the shade of trees on a very hot day.
Til next time,