Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Le Grand Continental: Rehearsal 16

Last night we were back at it at the Ukrainian Hall following our two-week holiday break. I had gotten there fairly early and was surprised to see how many people were already on the floor practicing the "Champagne" section with Caroline. Following several catch-up conversations (including one between Ling and myself on the importance of comfortable undergarments, and another with Diane et al on the belly dancing revival), we were called to order by the acerbically irrepressible Emily--who immediately freaked us all out by reminding us that we opened just over two weeks. And that, apparently, we still had two sections to learn.

Wait, had I missed something? I'm assuming that these new sections refer to the intro (how we arrive on stage) and the "Fatboy Slim" section, which, since we're mostly just lying on the ground, shouldn't prove too taxing.

Getting back into the groove of what we'd already learned, however, was very challenging indeed. In truth, we were all a little rusty and despite the fact that I'd practiced in my little home office garrett nearly every day during the break, when Lara led us through each of the sections, there were still some obvious hiccups. For most of us, the actual steps came back quickly; it's refining the execution and character and energy of those steps we have to work on. As Lara noted, we can't just mark the choreography; we have to commit to it each time. Otherwise, there's bound to be a pile-up of bodies somewhere down the road.

The other thing we still need to perfect is the clarity and precision of our lines. They get a little wonky in various sections, as some of us take bigger steps than others, or travel a bit when we should be remaining more or less on the spot, or move more quickly during the cross in "India" (a bit which we had down before the break, but that last night was somewhat scattershot). We have to keep remembering to check in with the others in our lines and adjust accordingly--preferably, as Lara reminded us, in one or even half a count as opposed to three or four.

Easier said than done, but I'm sure we'll get there. Sylvain returns next week, at which point things will really get serious!


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