Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wreck Beach Butoh Boot Camp 2016: Day 3

More bruises in more places. And in a rainbow hue of colours. It's surprising, stripping off at home in front of the bathroom mirror, to discover when and where new ones occur and, more to the point, not to be able to remember them being incurred. The work is physically hard, particularly Jay's floor rolling sequence, but in the moment you're concentrating so intently on learning the movement that you're not consciously registering the pain it's causing. That comes the next morning, as you try to roll your stiff and tired body out of bed. But, I have to stay, so far I'm surprised at how the old carcass is holding up. The day to day recovery is proving easier than last year and I haven't pulled anything major yet. I also haven't had to take any epsom salt baths yet, and I'm hoping to keep it that way. Notwithstanding Barbara's undeniable claims about their therapeutic value, I just can't stand sitting in a bathtub for any length of time; I get bored and intensely claustrophobic.

I really felt for Molly yesterday. When both Jay and Barbara forget their own choreography, which they inevitably do, she is the one who has to remember for them. This usually means demonstrating different sequences more than once in addition to participating as part of the general ensemble. On top of this, at break most of us cluster around her, peppering her with questions about when this move comes, and how exactly to do that one, etc. She handles it all with equanimity and grace and, selfishly, I have to admit that it is a treat to be able to watch such a talented dancer up close in the studio.

One thing I haven't quite wrapped my head around yet is the spatial orientation of the beach vis-a-vis our rehearsal of the movement in the studio. Last year at EDAM the west wall was always the ocean, and Barbara and Jay both made a point of emphasizing how the movement we were learning would translate directionally to the Wreck site. However, this year not only are we going back and forth between two different studios at Harbour Dance, but in doing so we are also switching our downstage facings. And with no indication as yet about how all of this gets mapped onto the beach. At least we know we will have a lot more space for our rolling on the sand. And Barbara did let us know that the corkscrew move we do at the end of the canon sequence is what locomotes us into the water.

That canon sequence had to be reset as we have apparently lost two members, taking the number of participants down to 12. I discovered last year that this happens; for various reasons people drop out. More often it's because of the time commitment than the physical rigours of the process. I'm discovering the consequences of that commitment as the number of tasks facing me keeps piling up. We'll see how I manage to revise that essay by July 1st...


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