Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Le Grand Continental: Rehearsal 22

Tonight at the Roundhouse was our last rehearsal before Saturday and Sunday's performances. Needless to say, we were still fine-tuning a number of things: the timing of the swaying and final crash in the intro; how to get back into our lines before the soldier walk in "Cumbia"; how far to travel during the lasso move in the same section; to remember to play out to all sides of the audience during any improv section; even the quality of our scream at the end of "Gogoprado."

And yet while Sylvain and Lara both had abundant notes at the end of our final run-through of the entire piece, what both mostly emphasized was how far we'd come, and what an excellent job we were doing. Sylvain then also explained why he kept teaching this piece to new groups of community dancers, and why after more than six years he wasn't frustrated or bored. He said it's because with every group he always sets himself new challenges and that the reward comes when each group meets or, as he claimed in our case, exceeds those expectations. And I don't think he was just spouting a bit of pre-performance flattery; while there are obvious differences in ability among individual members of the group, together we have gelled into an ensemble that is now moving as one. And not just in terms of the execution of the steps, but also in terms of the collective energy and spirit that you cannot help but feed off of in a piece such as this.

Speaking of energy and spirit, Sylvain also warned us that we will likely feel a low following Sunday's final performance. It's a regular fact of putting a production such as this together--after working so closely and intensely with each other over 10 weeks, we're bound to feel a bit of a void come next Monday when there's suddenly no regularly scheduled rehearsal to go to. From past experience, I can certainly attest to the feeling Sylvain was describing. Mercifully, Caroline let us know that she and Lara and Anna and the PuSh team would be putting together a list of local community dance resources for us to partake of should we wish to find something specifically kinetic to fill that gap. And already there is a move afoot in the group, spearheaded by Mark Haney and Diane Park, to keep dancing together in the future, with LGC dancer (and SFU Contemporary Arts alum) Jessica Barrett our resident choreographer and the always on point Peter Cox our de facto rehearsal director.

Sign me up folks. And merde to everyone for Saturday!


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