Our lives are made up of endless choices. There are always countless possibilities that can lead our lives in many different directions. In our existence, once we have made those choices, we cannot undo them. We cannot go back in time and change the choices we made. However, in dance, while each performance is in that moment and can’t be repeated exactly, when we revisit a piece later for restaging, we are able to make different choices we didn’t make the previous time.
As you may know, for our March concert, Paired Down, we will be showing some pieces we created for last year’s fundraiser, Pairings, as well as showing some new works. I have the interesting experience of restaging a solo I choreographed last year for Pairings on the ever so talented core artist Michelle Buchanan, as well as choreographing a new solo I wrote about in my last blog entry. In our rehearsal previous to yesterday, we spent the time remembering the choreography and getting it back in Michelle’s body, as well as figuring out the new spacing since we have double the width at the White Rabbit Cabaret in comparison to the space we had when it was performed previously. Now that we had that worked out, yesterday, Michelle was able to explore the movement more and I was able to look at the piece a year later with a new perspective.
While we are creating a piece, we of course do our best to look at it subjectively and try different things out to make the piece the best it can be. However, currently being in the process of working on both a new piece and an old piece, the differences are obvious. While I was very happy with the choreography when it was done previously, I now have the time to tweak different things within the piece, trying out different choices to make it even better. Most of the changes were simple and subtle, yet I feel they make a big impact on the piece.
For example, the shape Michelle is making in the picture from rehearsal is slightly different from the original. I wanted the shape to move further. So just by Michelle allowing her arm to lift off the ground instead of keeping both hands on the ground, it completely changed the shape and I feel like it’s the way it should have been all along. The feel of the piece is the same, like the song (masterfully composed and performed by Kate Lamont); it is beautiful and laid back, playing with subtle dynamics. I don’t know that any piece could ever be “perfect”. Those endless possibilities are always there. But I am very happy with the choices I have made revisiting the piece.
Whether you will be seeing this piece for the first time in March, or if you had the pleasure of seeing Michelle perform last June at Pairings, I hope you enjoy this piece as it goes on its second time around.