Friday, March 23, 2012

Studio Time

I am sitting on the studio floor, my back to the mirror, watching my dancer friend Joan G. I am here as dance coach, to critique, to question, to prod. I am here to peer into the steps and ask “Could you do this instead? What are you thinking about when you turn? Why are you rushing  the footwork?" I am not here to choreograph; I accept the steps, the phrases that have been set for the performance. But I  observe her closely, helping her understand how her body makes the shapes. Then we play with what comes naturally and what we can ignite in her body as she moves. I watch. I question. I demonstrate. I watch again. Together we work to make the shapes into clear steps, the phrases into sentences sometimes staccato, sometimes fluid. I tell her what works; what doesn’t and she practices the steps, links together the phrases. I am here to help her find in this dance her own body’s dance.

We cue up the music and the little boom box chugs out Prokoviev’s Romeo and Juliet. The deep bass notes of the opening rock the floor, the boom box jiggles and I sit up taller. I am thrilled to be here again, watching as her limbs take cues; hit the positions. She runs through a few steps and stops, her feet getting caught underneath her.   “Oh that’s not it; I’m too fast. I forgot, that’s not where it’s supposed to be."


She walks to the back of the studio, faces away. I cue up the music and we begin again. In silence, I wait. I remember my own studio years, alone with the mirrors, and I sense her mind's dialogue as it tells her body what to do, firing the conversation like quicksilver. My mind opens, my body leans forward, my chest lifts, my neck tilts. She turns around, I feel the lift of her leg into into a wide, high, second position. I breathe the rush of its downward carving into a backward turn, and the exhilaration as she swirls around, her feet catching up in a little bouree, prancing delicately across the studio.
That was it!


1 comment:

  1. Looks great Susie! Congrats. Looking forward to more writings and photos too!


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