Monday, July 28, 2008

More On Sweet Pea

I just love that name, the Sweet Pea Festival...

I spoke with Anne a little more about her gig this week, and asked her a bit about her process, her choreography, and her ambitions:

"I have always loved her (Patsy Cline's) music and have been familiar with it since childhood. I am drawn to her as an artist because she did so much to change the face of women in country music, really popular music in general. She took to dressing very elegantly, unlike most women in country music at the time who wore what we would think of now as square dance outfits. Her voice has such soul and depth and, of course, there is the added tragedy that she died so young. She didn't live to know the impact of her work, and there is poetry to that. To hear a voice that is so robust sing lighthearted songs of heartbreak is a bit ironic on multiple levels, which interests me. To choose the pieces I've used I listened to many over and over. I chose selections that are lesser known, for the most part because I didn't want it to be like a greatest hits kind of thing. My structure for the piece is mainly practical. I have few dancers and wanted to make a longish piece, so I just figured out when people would need to rest."

What Anne means by "figured out when people would need to rest" is that since she only has four dancers to work with, she had to strategize how to arrange the sections of the ballet so that it would be evenly balanced amongst all four. For example, that means deciding to arrange it so that there would be solos, duets, and trios without the same people in back-to-back sections, giving them time to catch their breath before their next section to dance.

I wondered how Anne knew how to organize a gig like this one:

"I served as Managing Director of Trey McIntyre Project from 2004 to 2006, during which we completed two national tours. I had a business partner, the current Executive Director of TMP, but between the two of us we handled almost all logistical aspects of financing and planning the tour. This is my first time solo. I'm certainly interested in more and have sincere hopes that this might grow into more summer opportunities for OBT and its dancers."

Everyone will have the chance to see Anne's latest choreographic work at the OBT Exposed tent next month. Details are on the OBT website. Please do stop by and catch it!

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