by Nicole Harris
Next up, Choreography Mentee, Elizabeth Powers! You saw the piece she created as part of the Choreography Mentorship Program at NACHMO Boston in January. You'll have the chance to see it again on stage tomorrow. We're excited to see what Elizabeth brings to the company in the future!
Elizabeth is also dancing in work by Sarah Feinberg and Elyssa Berg. Here she is talking about the two pieces she has in tomorrow's concert.
Friday, July 27th @ 8pm
665 Salem St, Malden, MA
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Elizabeth Powers: Many of the best parts of each program are the same! Both gave me as an emerging choreographer free space along with lots of freedom and little pressure to make something new. A highlight from OnStage Dance Company’s residency program was that I had the opportunity to bring together dancers who I new from different dance communities as well as meet other dancers from the OnStage community. A highlight from the Choreography Mentorship Program with Monkeyhouse was all of the opportunities for feedback and reflection on the work I was making. Additionally with this program I was given mentorship in all kinds of areas of the field including working with a lighting designer, finding/licensing music, costuming mentorship, and more.
N: The piece you created for OnStage Dance Co's Residency Program was fairly significantly less improv based than the one you created for Monkeyhouse's Choreography Mentorship Program. Can you talk about the differences between those two processes?
EP: The main difference between the two processes was what I came in with. For OnStage, I began the first rehearsal by teaching a phrase. The first rehearsal with Monkeyhouse began with several improvisation prompts as well as dancers creating their own phrases from these prompts. With the OnStage piece, the improvisation tasks were mostly developed into set material. For this piece, I imagined very specific images while working to bring them to life. Comparatively, the Monkeyhouse piece was created by honing specific improvisation scores and combining them into a cohesive dance.
EP: Definitely! Every time I see my work I think of something new to add, alter, or take out. The main structure of each piece will stay the same but I definitely made several small edits to both. Additionally, since there are elements of improvisation between each piece, there is no question that the pieces will not be exactly the same as they were in their original form, which is what I love about dance :)
N: What is a favorite rehearsal moment for each piece?
EP: A favorite rehearsal moment for the OnStage piece was the moment when all of the pieces finally went together. There was a time in the process when we had so many bits of material that we had been playing with, but they didn’t seem to work together. Trying one combination that finally worked was a great moment. A favorite rehearsal movement for the Monkeyhouse piece would have to be the first time we played with creating the duet between Sam and Olivia. It was just so much fun to watch them explore their silly and playful movement that was fun and thought provoking to watch.