December for me saw the beginnings, and eventually the bulk of, rehearsals for CoCo Danse's Resolution! 2013 piece, 'SetBack'. Wanting to document the process and experience that myself, the other dancers, the musician and the choreographer were having, I asked each person in the team for a word to sum up each rehearsal.
A harder task than you might think, what follows is those words, and my thoughts at each stage of the process.
'SetBack' by Corrinne Jola will be performed at The Place on Wednesday 13th February.
#1: Twirling, Fun, Coming Together, Dave, Rock
An introduction to Corrinne's movement ideas in the form of a Ceroc lesson from the wonderful Dave. As we 'pretzeled', 'basketed' and explored 'double trouble', I felt the grey matter begin to work out this new way of moving, and found I like to lead. There's also a real sense of freedom and instant trust in another body when being led. Not wanting to get too comfortable though, I was very aware that as time went on it was likely we may not have a partner with us....
#2: Race, Devolution, Memory, Shift, Close
And I was right. Recreating movement pathways and arm patterns without the security of a partner or Dave (!) proved an interesting process, rendering the previous day's movement almost unrecognisable. In a positive way, I'm sure...
We also gained an insight into Swiss playground games, combining an egg-and-spoon and a sack race together - cue awkward urgent shuffling, and many a broken imaginary egg.
#4: Dizzy, Re-cycle, Awe-stricken, Flying
A day in the wonderful studios at Jerwood Space was a day of low-flying movement from the hips, of building trust in fellow dancers, and of spinning so much we had to lie down: the movement identity for the piece was now beginning to take shape.
#5: Re-shape, Getting there, Go, Air
This rehearsal was all about developing solos personal to each dancer's movement style. With much improvisation, trying to set from improvisation, deciding not to set and just to improvise, going to the floor, recovering from the floor, finding a new way to the floor and drawing back up again, it was a chance to tap in to what each of us related to the most from the existing material.
#6: Heavy, Restricted, Thunder
On this dark and stormy Sunday evening, solos were further examined and transitions were developed. Bumping, flying and restriction were now beginning to become the movement backbone of the piece, which is seeming to come together organically and sensically as a whole.
#7: You, Bumping, Rush
With a sense of the piece as a whole sitting comfortably in our minds, today was the day to start tackling details and looking at drawing out key moments to sit more comfortably in our bodies. Stillnesses were added, and movement was revisited in different forms: together, apart, restricted and free.
Our ability to stay true to earlier improvisations was challenged with the addition of real spoons and sacks to race in, bringing about clarity of intention and a sense of focus.
Today’s work led me to recognise and reign in my tendency to rush through movement, taking the opportunity to discover spaces within and substance between movement material.
Find out more about the piece here: www.sponsume.com/project/setback
And book your tickets here! www.theplace.org.uk/15963/whats-on/7030-split-luisa-lazzaro-cocodanse.html