So we’ve just begun week 2 of rehearsals and today has been mostly spent finding a culmination point for Fractal, Sue Lewis’ latest work for the company. While this entailed establishing group unison and duet relationships with generous helpings of canon and counterpoint, we have in fact spent much of rehearsal thus far on our own individual journeys developing solos which slot in to the overall piece. Hopefully this will give you a little bit of insight into how I’ve been finding the process so far…
The nature of working on solos is such that I’ve spent a lot of time this past week in my own head – not least because I’ve got my headphones in to concentrate on responding to the music for my section. This has had both its high and low points – moments when I’ve been on a roll I’ve hardly noticed anyone around and have been able to immerse myself in both the music and my movement (albeit finding ways to pass my iPod between hands and negotiate getting tangled up in my headphones to bring me back to the real world with a bump!)
At other times, particularly at the start of the week, I would have spurs of loneliness or paranoia – seeing the others in the space around me with seemingly reams of movement material would make me question whether I was working quickly enough or producing material and structuring it to meet the demands of the task with enough clarity.
Come Friday, we ran and filmed all of our solos and group sections in order. This enabled us to watch back everything within the context of the (almost) entirety of the piece. Being able to watch film back is an incredibly useful tool to give you an outside eye on the work that you are creating and inhabiting. Oftentimes, there is a distinct difference between what it feels like you are doing (according to your own mind’s eye) and what an onlooker observes.
One of the areas which I earmarked for myself to work on, having looked back at the footage, was the depth, length and fluidity of my legwork down into the ground. This – along with feedback from Sue and the other dancers to delve into a chewing-gum quality of elasticity as I perform the movement, to really locate the trills in the music within my movement language and to think of moving from the middle of back so arm movements don’t become merely gestural – gave me plenty of ideas to go armed back into my own world of solo development this afternoon.
Thankfully now I’m getting to the point where my enjoyment and the challenge of working solo is managing to mostly quash those lonely moments!!