On saturday a small group of dancers, Nancy, Dave, Lenore, Shane, Isaac, & myself, gathered at the dandyland studio for work on You'll Always Come Back. Nancy had a simple agenda. She wanted to dance the first 5 pieces straight through, so that we could begin to feel the sequence as a usual one. Rain poured down for most of the day and the studio felt quite pod-like, a little further from the outside world. Inside, the work went very well.
We all put on wrap around pieces of cloth, like sarongs, to signify the fabric poems that we'll have for the performance, & I made a mental note that how these wraps are secured will be very important. This was the first time for me to do the very slow movement that the Elementals have in the beginning dance. It amazed me that such a simple dance, basically it is walking, could have so much complexity inherent in it. At first I moved a little too fast, aiming for smoothness, but Dave yelled out "You're going too fast. The tortoise wins the race!" He's right. Once I really slowed down, I noticed that for me the best way to maintain the slowest possible pace was to break down the movement of the feet into a series of observations. Now I'm rolling off the heel, like a ball turning very slowly ~ now I'm lifting the arch; back, middle, front ~ lifting the ball of the foot now, now the toes ~ but not off the floor ~ just enough to slowly brush forward to a new position - and so on, with the foot coming down just as methodically as it was lifted. It felt good, like gliding.
Isaac was a wonder. He works with us easily and contributes great ideas. At 8, he's a natural dancer.
Dave video'd the entire session. In the evening we watched all of what we'd done during the day, and all that we did in the two days of our first workshop, sped up to last about 6 minutes, the length of the first piece of music. It was great to see the patterns of social interaction revved up to a speed that compressed the past into something akin to watching a big flock of redwing blackbirds, or a hive of bees... I'm hoping to keep turning the past processes of our development of the piece into patterns that decorate and inform the present manifestation of it.