At this point in the developmental stage of this work we are currently experimenting a lot throughout this process. Using this experimental process we have used improvisation to build ideas into the work. The idea behind some of these experiments is how women are told “no” in this world. Although the topic of women and empowerment is a huge movement in society right now, it isn’t everywhere. We have pulled scenarios from these circumstances and developed them into phrase work. To illustrate, we have played with the idea of being pushed down and not being able to rise up by creating a phrase entirely on the stomach.
Physically it feels heavy almost as if a rock is crushing you. This feeling of being heavy correlates with being smothered. To me, it reminds me of being held down by a relationship where it is nearly impossible to get up. In the progression of this phrase on the stomach we are constantly building in movement out of frustration. This phrase represents a constant struggle. Knowing that you are fighting and trying to get out from this and you can't because you are constantly being pushed down time after time.
So far, this is what I have taken from the physical movement but we still have development time to go. I am curious to see if this feeling changes or what comes of it when we display it on stage during the 3 city tour…
more to come!
Surprise! Shana is choreographing a new work for our 3 city tour coming up! Recently we have been playing around and this is a short recap of what's been going down.
During rehearsals we have been exploring female empowerment in both pedestrian but also in more complex movement based ways. We took a floor phrase and manipulated it in order to show some type of oppression. Since I am a rather small being it was very easy to feel as though Brady was overpowering me. We played with that oppression but also my pushing back in some instances offering some opposition to Brady’s constant push downwards.
We then played with more pedestrian movement. One exercise I found particularly interesting was having Brady say, “You can’t do that,” after each decision I made. To me, this statement represented society saying I couldn’t do something and that felt rather restricting. It was a fun thing to experiment with because in my experience I've never had someone physically tell me I can not do something but it shows restrictions that society has placed on us. Restrictions that majority of us accept as just “the way it is”.
This brings up the question: Why do we just accept societal restrictions we do not agree with, and how do we become more aware that we are doing so?
What’s new in the new year?! We are in rehearsals for Her Holiness, The Winter Dog. A new opera presented by the New Hazlett Theater and Kamratōn, scheduled to premier May 30/31!
In our rehearsals, we combat many things movement based, but for me, the most difficult is fully embodying a certain character or creature....
Our first couple of rehearsals focused on qualities that dogs and cats have - and also the differences. Yes, we are going to be cats and my fellow dancer/just awesome person all around, Jamie, is the Winter Dog.
We spent a majority of time differentiating movement qualities of both animals and creating a combination of movements that match each one. Not going to lie, being a cat is HARD.
Many hours spent crawling... but not just crawling, we were finding the perfect wrist flick, shoulder roll, and back arch. IT TOOK TIME. I, for one, still have a ways to go.
Workshopping different movements helps to bounce ideas off of one another creatively. We had many silly moments in rehearsal experimenting different ways of traveling, pouncing, and sitting. We tried to jump like a cat from all fours and land on all fours and run like a dog where their feet and arms are outstretched at the same time and come together to push off the floor at the same time (near impossible).
For me, the hardest part is believing I am a cat. We will be aiming to perfect these movements in rehearsals until May, so keep in touch and I will update along the way....
PS. Peek below for a preview!
Quote of the Rehearsal: “what’s an otter man?” -Brady Sanders
offerings from shana & company members
Something to read while laying in bed, on the subway or tube, or during your morning constitutional.