Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Ping Pong rehearsal

Today was the last rehearsal for the Ping Pong Dance before Saturday's performance for Art On The Fly. As I reflect back on my choreography to date, I have been such a serious artist. This year feels new. First "Wall Street" in February and now "Ping Pong", I have been exploring more playfulness with the dancers and the style of piece. It has been a lot of fun and I laugh a lot at rehearsals, which I think is great. However, I feel a lack of depth of content. So this is my edge (one of many): How can I create playfully and use comedy AND have satisfying content?

Do you know of other choreographers that have accomplished this? Please offer their names or links to their work in the comments.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 21-Preparing for class

Today I took time to plan for a modern dance class I'll be teaching later in the week. The combination for the end of class is full of what my San Francisco friends call "Classic Elizabeth Mendana Moves." I lumped together a bunch of my favorite movements to do. This is not a new choreography in that most of it comes from a piece I did titled Flying Dream, A Woman Wrestles With an Angel. But, at least I danced today and here's the video to prove it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

For the last week, I have been on new-mother-overload! Hence, no new videos for awhile. I could have even posted videos I took of rehearsals for the performance on June 2, but even uploading those was beyond my bandwidth. Today was a beautiful sunny and relaxing day--exactly what Mother's Day should be! As I was putting my baby to sleep this evening, I thought "Today, I'm glad to be a mama." That's not necessarily something I have thought very often over the last eight months. I chose to dance outside in the evening light and to improvise "On Behalf Of" being a mom. My husband ran the video camera and encouraged me to do a triptych.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 7-Adagio

I am a momentum addict. I love release technique modern dance classes because it's like riding my own little rollercoaster. I love going upside down and rolling around and jumping off the ground. It's what I call fun! But right now, I am exploring ideas for a piece that will be quite the opposite. The title is "Sanctuary" and the content has to do with rest and restoration. Not quite the adrenaline rush I am used to. Today's choreography begins to explore this concept. Not satisfied with it, but here it is nonetheless.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 5-Give Yourself a Hand

Today I had a conversation on Facebook with the other dancers participating in this 30 day challenge about Dance For Camera work and the frame of the camera as the stage, which allows a choreographer to create differently than for a live performance on an actual stage. Tonight, as I was procrastinating doing my 30 seconds of dancing (choosing to analyze that at a different time!) I remembered a vision I had several years ago for a Dance For Camera piece of dancing hands. So, tonight, in my exhausted-haven't-had-a-full-night-of-sleep-in-8-months-state of being, I decided to try a sample Dance For Camera Hand Dance.

Day 4: Dancing in the Rain

Ok. I confess. I didn't dance today. My main excuse: my baby only napped in the car while we drive to and from rehearsal. However, I did play choreographer at rehearsal today. It was a rainy day, but these dancers are fearless! Here are some pics:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 3-Finding the dancer

Yesterday, someone posed the question of intention. In my own rewording of her question: What is your intention in this 30 day challenge? What are you moving for/towards/away from? I jumped into this challenge initially for the spiritual practice of it. Create 16 counts a day for 30 days. I know, not very deep and earth shaking. But as I swam laps last night, I meditated on the question and realized I do have a deeper answer.

8 months ago, I gave birth. For the nine months before that, I threw up twice a day. So, I have not danced in a year and a half and (to state the obvious) my body has been through a very physical transformation. This 30 day challenge is about rediscovering and reclaiming myself as a dancing body. As a new mama, I struggle with feeling comfortable in my body again.  Who am I now? How do I move now? I realize as I write this, these are both physical questions as well as philosophical ones.

Tonight I let myself improvise, temporarily lifting the restriction of "choreographing", inspired by Bobby McFerrin's song "Brief Eternity" as well as my inquiry of finding the dancer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 2

Today I took advantage of my napping baby to multi-task! I created my phrase in the kitchen while hard boiling some eggs. However, since I really do not want to share how dirty my kitchen is with the world, I went back to the living room to record. It's a decent set-up: I put my flip video camera on the window sill, hit record, and go do my thing. And since the baby is still asleep (miracles never cease!), I did take time to edit out my walking to and from the camera.

So, here goes Day 2:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The 30 Day Challenge-Day 1

May Day! It feels like spring here in the Northwest. Flowers are blooming and temperatures are warming. That must be the reason for renewed energy in dancemaking! In addition to currently choreographing two pieces for the Seattle International Dance Festival and another piece for a show in July, I am taking on the challenge of choreographing 16 counts of choreography every day for 30 days. This challenge is inspired by Jamuna Chiarini, choreographer in Portland, OR.

I do not promise to be brilliant! Merely, to create 16 counts of movement each day. So, here goes Day 1! Thanks Jamuna for the challenge!