I think I thought that the studio would feel uninspiring or sterile after being up on the roof yesterday. I think I thought that. But it turns out that an empty space that was all mine for 90 minutes felt pretty good. The sprung floor didn't hurt either.
Funny story: After warming up a bit, I turned on the camera and improvised for about 15 minutes. Then I took a peek at the camera to see if it was still running. It was. Great! I kept going. 5 minutes later when I felt done with that round, I went to turn off the camera, and... ERROR! The whole video was lost.
Which really doesn't matter at all.
I've been documenting with video for some reason I'm not totally sure about yet, but it's not important. I laid on the floor for awhile deciding whether I was done for the day. I decided I was not. I decided to repeat the task in basically the same way without trying to reproduce anything that had happened the first time. I experimented a bit with this kind of repetition when I was doing the Sandbox Series at ODC. (Sandbox Series is a program that gives choreographers free studio space, paid dancers, and a chunk of money to just experiment with no obligation to make anything. It was great). During Sandbox, I had a day that was all about repetition. I had the dancers do a phrase building task with the exact same parameters 4 times in a row. I tried something along the same lines for my 2nd round of improvisation here.
Both times, I basically went through the items one by one (keys, tiny picture frame, parasol, seed pod necklace, bark) and danced something about that item. I moved about a set of keys? Danced inspired by a parasol? Attempted to capture some essence of a necklace through the power of my dance? I don't know. It seems sort of silly. I am reminded of a woman I met in my college years. She had some long ago dance training and was working as a stripper at the time. I had just discovered modern dance! She made fun of that "I'm-a-tree modern dance thing". I explained it's not about that, but sometimes we count to 7 instead of 8.
So, I'm not a tree, but I am a piece of bark, and a set of keys, &etc. That's right. I just decided not to feel silly about it. And it felt good, I must say, to play. To be easy with myself and think about the qualities of these items, both physical and in the residual memories attached to each, as I danced:
The keys were led me into the spirals of the metal keychain and distant memories of the man who gave it to me.
The tiny frame was all about corners and lines and right angles.
The parasol was about the shape, and a kind of gentle popping expansion, and maybe an element of protection.
The necklace pulled between the lightness and bounce of the pods to the limp tangle of the cord.
The bark... I skipped the second time around. I lost steam, I guess, or maybe I couldn't find my way into it. The first time I remember thinking about the textures, really rough on one side and smooth on the other, and I tried to feel that in my body.
And then there was a little silliness at the end: