Thursday, November 13, 2014

Le Grand Continental: Rehearsal 4

Last night the film crew who are making a documentary on our making of the Vancouver version of Le Grand Continental were back at the Ukrainian Hall. It's the same team who made last year's Kiss the Rabbit, the look at Gob Squad's Super Night Shot that also doubled as a 10th anniversary celebration of the PuSh Festival. They are a really easy-going and unobtrusive team, but it was hard not to think that the camera was directly aimed at you the whole time, capturing your every misstep.

There were certainly a few of those, particularly in the new section that Sylvain introduced us to, one that will lead us into the funk bit that we all performed at our auditions. Other than that, we concentrated on perfecting the "Ima" and "India" sections, and the transition between the two. This involved Sylvain demonstrating to us just how closely we would be dancing next to each other once we merge with Group B on Saturday. Discovering how tight our movements would hereafter need to be was instructive, as I have tended to be all over the place spatially so far--traveling too much sometimes, and not enough at others. Now I'll be additionally worried about not kicking anyone, or hitting them in the head when I do my big arms.

This week is our last one with Sylvain until after Christmas. Understandably, he needs to head back to his life in Montreal. Everyone's shoulders visibly sagged last night when Lara informed us of this news--to be expected given that both the process and phenomenon of Le Grand Continental are very much tied to Sylvain and his winning personality. One plows on in spite of one's mistakes because he is so encouraging. And because he doesn't let us off the hook. One wants to be better, to get the movement just right, because he makes us believe in the importance of this.

But he has chosen well in Lara and Caroline as rehearsal instructors. Like Sylvain, they are both encouraging mentors and rigorous taskmasters. Not to mention excellent dancers! We also learned last night that they will be dancing in the piece alongside us in January. That will certainly elevate the overall impression we make. Now all I have to do is figure out a way to be near one of them in performance.


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