Thursday, May 28, 2015

Those Hazy Days of Summer


My only homework this summer is to recuperate from foot surgery. It turns out to be a perfect moment to take a look at some older work, including the one above which was made during a one-week residency at The Yard in the summer of 2008.  If you have time, I welcome you to take stock with me, traveling back through the years and meeting some of my favorite dancers.

That summer was the first time this particular foursome had ever worked, lived - and splashed! - together. During the same very productive week, we also made a live quartet called Cartoon Love,  with music by Steve Elson and lyrics by Daniel Wolff. In fact, if you look closely at both Days and Love, you'll see some moves they have in common. Hey, I only had a week!

Allow me to introduce you to the delicious - and distinguished - alumni of the Summer of 2008:

Mica Bernas 
had danced with me before in Cottonwood and My Feral Valentine, and is adorably mischievous in the just completed On the way to work. She also lent her personal story to Apple Tree, a short piece which focuses on her immigrant status. As of now, Mica is officially an "Alien of Extraordinary Ability" and dances with the Limon Company.

Caitlin Roben
and I met for the first time in 2006 when she joined in as a "community member" in the cast of Not About Paris Hilton at Williams College. Very soon after, I invited Caitlin to escape to the Dragon's Egg with me, where we made Thaw, stealing some material from Paris. Forced to share a room during that Martha's Vineyard residency, Caitlin and Mica later became roommates back in Brooklyn, and are still BFFs.

Carlos Gonzales
was introduced to me about a week before our gig at The Yard, and we both took a chance that he'd be a good fit for such an intimate and intensive week away from NYC. Later Carlos danced in the 2010 Brother's Keeperand more recently in my brand-new Honeymoon. A native of Cuba, and a graduate of Montclair University, Carlos is poised to make his Broadway debut in On Your Feet.

Rory Kaplan
grew up near me in Rockland County, dancing at Coupe Dance Studio. The only other time we worked together was on a hastily-shot and rarely-seen video called Scaffold. I keep thinking I should re-edit it, re-think the music...maybe as part of my summer homework? Rory is currently on Broadway in Jersey Boys.

Did I lose you on my way down memory lane? How many of the above links did you investigate? I hope this was an entertaining way to meet the talented dancers I'm lucky enough to work with, from project to project, over the course of many years.  While you're at it, you can help me take stock. 

Here's one thing I realize as I muse [read: sit on my ass] about next projects and new challenges: it's not so much that I expect to get better at what I do.  But perhaps I can deepen, by looking back, my commitment to the style and subject matter that historically appeal to me. Sensuality and joy and humor, for sure - and movement that feels like a natural expression of those. If I aim for a bit more depth, length or breadth, I don't think there's real danger my work will get too ponderous, trendy or slick. Let's hear it for these light-hearted, gentle, sexy pieces in a world that can be full of pain, violence and posturing.

I didn't self-deprecate one bit! So there!


P.S. Another solo study shot in a few hours one afternoon a few years after the one above. Also on Martha's Vineyard, with a different dancer in a different location. For the gluttons among you...

1 comment:

Helen Avakian said...

Those Hazy Days of Summer is just gorgeous! I can feel the sun and water as I watch. I especially love the sparkles in the water with the swimming dancers! You captured an idyllic summer experience.