Tuesday, May 15, 2012

From Studio to Stage: Sat Rep Group Highlights

Joan Lazarus, the Sat Rep Group choreographer is a gifted and prolific bay area teacher and performer. In her classes, especially ballet, she stresses technique as a definite code. But she also encourages each student to discover his or her own version of "technique." I recall her telling me "this is your second position," and showing me where my turnout from the hip really was: at 2:10, not 3:00pm--so to speak. So it follows that her version of performance would be equally radical and include many levels of ability and yet still challenge those brave enough to run the gauntlet.

She summed it up for the audience as her dancers were backstage warming up."What is Sat Rep Group?" She saw it as a natural progression for her dancers. "Class is one thing, rehearsal another and performance yet another." She chose her dancers and the pieces they would perform in order to push each of them beyond their current "comfy-sofa- place" with dance. The dancers took to the stage to show us their journey, building their body knowledge and fusing their passion for dance into a performance.

For me the most successful piece was Romeo and Juliet.
https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSGYz3jqSc4zmOLLCEBIX68tvC4A7YdZQcPNChlg_8yi_SjigShqQ The dancers formed two lines each group sparring as they strrode toward and past one another to the the deep bass throbs of Prokofiev.  I felt a defiant freedom in their pointed feet extending like swords as they crossed. Everyone was in union while still allowing for some individual dancing. The strongest dancers in the piece were those who were able to point their foot and move, as if impelled in that direction.

The piece made sense in a contained and logical way as the  dancers delved into the core movements of pointed feet, sweeping legs, a la seconde turns, and purposeful gallant walks.

There was a thrilling ripple as the line moved downstage and in canon each dancer came forward and and did a swooshing turn to the back. The rush of building momentum swept us up with the dancers on their passionate journey.  Beautiful to see!

1 comment:

we love comments--leave them here--with your name (no url needed)