Here are a few words from our Choreography Mentee, Elyssa Berg. Her new work is an exciting blend of choreography and design. She worked closely with our resident lighting designer and production manager, Jason Ries, to create three distinctly different vignettes, each with its own method of illumination.
Elyssa will also be performing in work by Elizabeth Powers and Karen Krolak.
reACT reBUILD reCOLLECT
Friday, July 27th @ 8pm
665 Salem St, Malden, MA
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EB: This is definitely a new way of working for me. I usually work by building set choreography but for this piece the majority is set improvisation. Overall I feel this is an interesting way to work as it has brought a genuine feel to the work. The dancers are seen as individuals and are making decisions that are true to them. It is fulfilling as a choreographer to see this happen. It is exciting to see people take your ideas and interpret them as opposed to seeing people try and duplicate exactly what you are thinking in movement that was created for your body. I will definitely explore working this way further as it has brought out different work that has a completely different feeling than what I usually make.
Elyssa Berg: This decision came from watching how people interacted during Musings. I was able to work quite a few times with these ideas and throughout the sessions of Musings I was able to watch the pairings of people, seeing how they interacted with the light and each other. I chose the pairings in this way so that the connections appeared genuine and true to the relationship of the pairings. Nicole and Caleb are a part of the first section in which the feeling of the piece is curious and explorative. The second section includes Elizabeth and Sarah and the feeling is more playful which is very true to the relationship between the two of them and how they move together. The last section is a solo with Elizabeth in which I wanted the feeling to be isolated and contained. Thanks to Musings each decision was made based on how the individuals and their actions inspired me as they brought themselves to the work.
N: You have built this piece very differently than you normally work. Can you talk about the differences (set choreography vs improvisation) and how you are feeling about the process of building improvisationally?
EB: Musings have helped me in feeling prepared to create. When you come into rehearsal with a big idea, of something you haven't done before, it can be very intimidating. The most frustrating part of building a new piece can be the trial and error process that you feel you don't have time for. It can feel like a lot of pressure to build something quickly with the resources that you have, feeling like everything you make has to be good. Musings gave me the chance to have all of the trial and error moments that you need before you start setting a work. Since there is no pressure in Musings you can try just about anything. You can go in with a small idea and just see what happens. A lot of unexpected things have happened during Musings that made their way into the piece. With all of this time to weed out the ideas that I didn't need I was able to focus on what I liked and what read the best. It was amazing to see how easy the building process of the pieces was after preparing through Musings.
N: What is a favorite rehearsal moment from the creation of this piece?
EB: It is hard to pick a single moment. I would say that the most fulfilling moments are the unexpected times where you try to communicate to your dancers what you see in your head and then the dancers deliver even more than you could have expected. Those are the most exciting moments that bring a new light to the piece.