After the holiday break, I’m back at OSU and back in rehearsal. Daniel Diller and I worked together last week on some new material. I’m looking at the duet we made last semester with Kat Sauma as our frame that we’ll work in and out of as we create this semester. Daniel and I started rehearsal with about forty minutes of improvisation, finding ways to put circles into various parts of the body, and finding ways to have multiple circles going at once in different directions. We danced together, then took turns following each other and suggesting (with our voices) new circles that could be introduced (add the knee, add the tailbone, etc.). After staying in this circularity for a while (in space and in the body), we started fragmented the body by playing a game in which person A receives contact from person B and moves away from it. This moving away can be a full body action, or a very direct and small action. We started with the full-body option and worked toward the hyper-specific. After we’d worked together for a while, we each did some passes across the floor in which the person on the outside could call “switch” and the one dancing would shift from circular movement and pathways to more fragmented movement that had a clear stopping point.
Daniel then worked on a phrase incorporating these modes of moving, and I also suggested he think about the ceiling being an audience as well as the walls around him, an idea we played with last semester in our duet work. I altered timing, direction, duration and focus.
For myself, I find that if I’m physically involved in the improvisational tasks in rehearsal I understand much better the internal life and emotional possibilities of the task as well as the physical appearance of it. I’m also recognizing the value of spending time in the process, rather than always seeing rehearsal as a space to generate more material. It also means I get to dance and move with my dancers in rehearsal, and on a very simple level, I like that.
Here is Daniel’s solo: