Saturday, February 13, 2010

Collaboration - a little history

Chris Farrell and I first worked together in the Spring of 2009.

Check out more of Chris's work at

I was working with five dancers with whom I had never before worked and was investigating new territory; I was beginning to delve into new places with my choreographic intention and exploring what it meant to educate through the choreographic process. During the first few weeks of rehearsal, it became apparent to me that I needed an additional voice. I asked Chris to provide some musical expertise. What followed amazed and still surprises me.

It seems that the younger generations are more technologically savvy than I. My dancers introduced me to Facebook and we used the social networking site as a rehearsal tool. We only had the opportunity to meet once a week, so I would privately post our rehearsals for them to review. Chris was able to access these videos and was simultaneously working on his own projects. A thread from one of his themes fit beautifully into the work.

In addition to the Facebook posts, our separate work, and our conversations, Chris came to several rehearsals with the dancers. I deeply appreciate(d) his interest in what the dancers were experiencing during the work; the dance is as much theirs as it is mine and I believe they are also collaborators to the process. I thank Chris for valuing them with the same regard.

In talking about our process, Chris stacks his hands on top of one another, as if he's building a ladder. "You have this idea, I have this idea, you build on this, I build on this..." In one of our conversations, he described the way the David is displayed in Italy. Michelangelo said that he reveals/ed what's already in the stone. In viewing the David, the viewer must pass through a gateway of partially finished works by Michelangelo, each revealing more than the previous. A hand begins to take shape, a face... until the final manifest is unfolded. In this way, the viewer is allowed a peak into the process...

Each time we come together, pass in the hall with a quick thought, or e-mail a slew of mental vomit, we are unveiling a little bit more of this creation. I'm very grateful and excited for the adventure. Thanks, Chris!

Here's a link to the piece we created in the Spring of 2009 - "at the edge of the turning tide..."

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