Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mountain View Solstice Dancers: Rehearsal 3

I was pretty tired at the start of last night's rehearsal--a long day followed by a rushed dinner and a mostly uphill bike ride against the wind. When Mark announced that there was a plan afoot to have us sing in addition to dance during part of the June 21 performance I was suddenly re-energized--with horror! Fortunately it has since been clarified that the singing won't be compulsory. And it sounds like, as with the overall concept of the piece, this part of it has been thought through with care. I look forward to seeing how it evolves--just without me contributing any off-key bass notes.

After a brief warm-up Jessica showed us, through the small band of windows on the north side of Celebration Hall, where we would be beginning our dance--from just beyond the lip of the bike bath that cuts across the cemetery at 37th. We will process up to the Hall in time with the first piece of music, Part's "Spiegel im Spiegel." As part of that procession, however, there will be various bits of choreography, the first few motifs of which we learned last night. These included a simple bounce up and down on the spot to the first piano note; a reaching of our hands skyward and then a twisty floating of them down to our sides, followed by a final, gentle bump of the arms in time to another of the piano notes (a really gorgeous move); and, finally, a little grapevine and hop on the spot with a partner. The latter took Susie and I a bit of time to master, but eventually we got there--and we had a lot of fun doing so.

Then came the really complicated part: massing in a triangle formation and learning an 11-count sequence from start to finish. The sequence begins with a coordinated leg and arm circle, followed by a step backward with upraised arms, a step forward with hands on knees, a quarter turn to the left, a torso swivel, and various bits of arms stretches and rolls that conclude with our hands above our heads and balancing on our toes, ready to fall on eleven. That I can remember most of this sequence in my head is a good sign. Now it's just finding time to practice it between now and next Monday.

That's right: no holiday for us. Not when there's only eleven more weeks to performance.


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