Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mountain View Solstice Dancers: Rehearsal 2

Last night at Celebration Hall, Jessica began by introducing us to new rehearsal assistant Hayley (I think I've got that right), who took us through a few opening somatic breathing and knee bending exercises in order to get us to think about ways to mitigate the effects of dancing on a concrete floor. Then, after a brief warm-up, Jessica reversed the process of last week, having us start with our concluding shaped improv exercise.

Soon, however, the improv morphed into the contact variety as we paired off and played with transferring weight and following the direction of different touching limbs, starting with out foreheads. Having long marvelled at the spontaneous flow and reciprocal response of professional contact dancers, it was fun to actually move in this way, working first with Ellen and then Christine and finally Ling. Needless to say, Ling and I eventually ended up on the floor in a fit of giggles.

The main portion of the rehearsal was devoted to taking our waltz steps and arm combinations from last week and putting them together in our first choreographic pattern, a group procession in which we floated (or "wafted," to use Jessica's term) down the length of the hall, doing a turn with our same waltz step (but a new set of arms), and then floated back. It sounds simple, but figuring out the number of steps to our turns and when to begin vis-a-vis each preceding set of partners took some time. Eventually we got there and now we have our first phrase to practice at home.

Among the announcements at the end of the rehearsal, Diane--who is a professional couturier--let us know her concept for our costumes. We're all to wear white. That means finding some appropriate pants, I guess. I think I'll forgo Value Village this time.


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