Thursday, January 15, 2015

Le Grand Continental: Rehearsal 19

Back at the Roundhouse, Sylvain first had us refine the "Fatboy Slim" section with the children: once on its own, when I accidentally hit poor Shauna's head during the writhing-on-the-ground bit; and then moving into it from "India," the cross of which I thought we pretty much nailed. (Not so later on, during our full run through, according to Lara.) I'm now following Peggy during this cross, as there was some final futzing with line-positioning last night. Alas, that means I have fewer opportunities to tease Caroline.

After we bid goodnight to the children, we then learned the moves that accompany the intro, our last bit of new choreography. The moves themselves are not very complicated, but there is more silent counting we have to do in order to hit our various musical cues--not least just before the big crash at the end, which leads directly into the start of "Gogoprado." And woe betide the dancer who is late to his or her mark for that.

Following break, we welcomed our first unofficial audience into the rehearsal room: members of the PuSh Patrons Circle, who'd been invited to catch a sneak peek of the work, along with several PuSh Festival staff. It was the latter group's presence that made me most nervous, precisely because I know them so well--not to mention their own personal and professional stakes in the show. At the same time, even this relatively small group immediately raised everyone's energy levels. But before we could release that energy fully, Sylvain had us show him "Champagne," which he hadn't yet seen since his return from Montreal. The one key bit of information we learned from that was that we don't have to land on our marks at the end of the ninth and final count of eight during the improvised jumping that concludes the piece; we just have to land on the beat and all together (which is easier said than done).

As for the full run-through that we then performed for our guests, it was super-fun. And from my perspective in the upstage right corner, it also looked pretty sharp. Sure, we made mistakes here and there (myself included), and our lines are still wobbly from time to time (especially during "Cumbia"). But where for the first time I really felt we were all in sync was being fully in the moment: focused, but having fun; and self-aware enough to recover quickly when we'd made mistakes. Not that Sylvain and Lara didn't have abundant notes for us (see above). But those notes are now less about issuing large-scale corrections than encouraging us to be bigger and bolder, or else refining the quality of a move we already know. The best thing of all was seeing how stoked everyone still was at the end of the run-through. Indeed, Jody was disappointed we didn't have time to do it all again.

Saturday afternoon we'll be outdoors at the Queen E Plaza for the first time. Goodbye sprung floor, hello concrete. And likely rain. It should be an interesting test. And I have all of two days to finalize my costumes.


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