Hello Texture friends, family, and dancers! Two weeks of rehearsal down, and lots of laughter, excitement, and fierce dancing has been going on in the studios. It’s been hours of sweat, bruises, and tears (no blood…yet!!!) and lots of fun! I cannot wait to continue the rehearsal/choreographic process next week!
Week two went out with a bang: an exciting performance for the Americans for the Arts National Convention at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Friday morning.
Texture dancers and Cello Fury, post-performance at the Convention Center.
What an incredible opportunity for the company to gain some national exposure and collaborate, again, with the wonderful artists of the Pittsburgh-based rocking band, Cello Fury! Americans for the Arts is a non-profit organization that works nationally to advance the arts and arts education. They promote the artistic community as an important and necessary part of American life. What a privilege to perform for a group that values dance and art as much as we do! Check out their website here:
Throughout the last two weeks, we’ve been re-staging and rehearsing two sections from last summer’s ballet, The Pulse of Time, a co-creation of Kelsey and Alan, to be performed for the convention. It’s been quite a rewarding experience to return to a work that we’ve already rehearsed and performed. As a dancer, I’m always shocked to find that my body, in many ways, has a clearer memory than my brain! Put the music on, let it play, and before I know it I’m dancing the steps of the ballet even though two minutes ago I couldn’t tell you what my first movement was supposed to be! Revisiting The Pulse of Time provided all of us dancers a wonderful chance to really dig into the choreography. Since we already knew the steps and the music, we explored new ways to shade the movements. We experimented, finding moments to make super energetic as well as moments to make soft and smooth. It’s sort of like coloring in a coloring book. The choreography is the blank picture, simple outlines of shapes. We get to shade and fill in the spaces. The Pulse of Time was the same blank coloring book page that we were given a year ago, but all of us have another year of dance and life experience to use as colors to shade the picture however we wanted! Imagine our excitement, similar to that of a five-year-old given a giant box of Crayola Crayons and a new coloring book!
Friday morning, we dragged our sore, tired bodies into the studios for an 8 am warm up class to prepare us for the performance. Believe me, no matter how much you love ballet, 8 am is an early call for tendus and pliés! We put on some rocking tunes and got ourselves moving before walking over to the Convention Center for spacing rehearsal.
Long distance view of the stage and jumbotron screens.
We performed in a GIANT room, packed with tables and chairs and white china for a luncheon event. Pretty amazing! The stage experience was new for us: a raised platform with just three panels of marley (we usually perform on a stage with wings and about six marley panels. Not to mention, Cello Fury was up there on the stage with us! I think dancers and musicians alike were a bit nervous about being stabbed with a cello bow, or having a long-legged dancer grande jeté right into a beloved cello! But we made it work with rave reviews!
Giant room at the Convention Center for our performance.
Cello Fury is a joy to work with! Such chill, fun musicians! One of my favorite moments last summer came from our first rehearsal with the band playing live in the studio. At the first pluck of the cello string, all of us screamed in excitement! There is NOTHING like live music, right there with you, informing the dance steps and feeding the performance energy. Every time I hear Cello Fury play, I experience that same rush of excited adrenaline from the first time we heard them live!
What an exciting first performance of the summer! A dancer cannot ask for more than to perform to live music for an audience that loves and appreciates the arts, and of course wearing some super cool tutus designed by our costumer-extraordinaire, Erin Heintzinger!
Erin’s incredible tutus for The Pulse of Time (and a pair of my smelly pointe shoes!)