Sunday, March 8, 2009

Masters and Moderns

Hi everyone, I know it's been a long time since I've written anything, but I was sitting around thinking about how excited I am for this next show and this seemed like the perfect outlet to voice that excitement!

For Christopher's first two seasons here, we called the program that we presented in the Newmark Theater "Masters and Moderns." I always really loved that title, and was sad when we stopped using it, but if ever there was a show that embodied that idea, this is the one.

I am beyond excited (thrilled even :-p) to be revisiting William Forsythe's homage to Balanchine, "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude." Rehearsing and performing this ballet last season was definitely a career highlight, and I'm really interested to see what coming back to it is going to be like. I've listened to the music a little bit over the layoff, and I think it's possible that a good 75% of the ballet is still in my muscle memory, and the rest is in my brain. Here's a picture of me right before my first performance of "Vertig" (I look pretty ridiculous, but it's a fairly accurate representation of how nervous/excited I felt right before the curtain went up):

Preparing to dance this ballet is much more psychological than physical for me. About half way through the ballet my body starts telling my mind that it's exhausted and can't go on, and my mind tells my body to shut up and keep dancing. Anyway, by then end I'm always exhausted, completely drenched in sweat, and feel more exhilarated and alive than I ever remember feeling before.

Also on this program is a piece by Nicolo Fonte (he choreographed our Bolero last year) entitled "Left Unsaid." I've only seen a video of this work, but it looks incredibly beautiful and I really hope that I'll get to learn it. Working with Nicolo last season was such a great learning experience for me, and there is something about his choreography that really allows me to feel like I'm using my whole body and that everything is being stretched to the limit. I remember feeling so free dancing Bolero, and even though it was choreographed, and I danced the same steps every night, there was something about it that felt incredibly spontaneous and alive. It was like dancing the same ballet for the first time over and over again.

The final two pieces are Tarantella by Balanchine, and a new work by James Kudelka. I've seen Tarantella, and it looks like a ton of fun. It's a pas de deux, and pretty short, but it's full of tricks, technique, and the opportunity to really ham it up on stage. All things that I love to do.

I was in the room for the creation of the Trio from Kudelka's "Almost Mozart" back in 2006. There were a lot of us in there learning it, I was working with Sam Rogers (an apprentice that season) and Mia, but I think there were maybe twelve of us in there all together (four sets of three). Anyway, my group liked to think of ourselves as the fearless trio, because Kudelka would ask the first cast (Alison, Paul DeStrooper, and Damian) to try something, and more often than not it seemed somewhat precarious, if not borderline dangerous, but being the young go-getter's that we are, Mia, Sam, and I would just throw ourselves into these tasks. I think each of us ended up on the floor a few times, but always got back up laughing. I have a lot of memories of feeling so challenged in new ways in Kudelka's rehearsals, and there's nothing I love more than a good challenge.

All right, well, I think that's all for now. I'll try to start updating with a bit more frequency!

Thanks to all of you who came and saw our most recent show, I hope you had as much fun watching it as we had dancing it!


P.S. Here's a video that Adrian had taken last year before our first performance of "Vertiginous Thrill." We held hands and made a circle so we could feel together before we launched ourselves into such an exhausting ballet.

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