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Blog

Oct
08

BDL- DAY 6

Today I went to rehearsal feeling a bit sluggish.  And I stayed feeling sluggish throughout the day.  That being said, I had about 6 items on my “to tackle” list and, instead of working on any of them, I began creating 2 completely different pieces.  The lab truly allows me to be where I am and work from that place.  And because I can do that I am much more able to follow my artistic impulses.  This is something I am rarely, if ever, afforded in the workplace.  I reminded myself yesterday that when I present this material I will begin by reminding people that they are not there to adjudicate my product.  While I certainly hope they like what I have explored, they are there to experience the types of results that this kind of uninhibited exploration can offer.



Oct
06

BDL – DAY 5

I looked around at the end of Day 5 and realized that, in my first week, I had begun 4 completely different dances.   In 20 hours of work, I had already been able to explore multiple choreographic techniques and themes.  And having talented dancers of my own choosing, in a space conducive to large, group movement, over a period of 20 hours, with absolutely no imposed boudaries has truly afforded me the ability to practice my craft in a way I never have before.  The lab makes me feel like I’m like a kid at an empty amusement park…able to ride any ride whenever I feel like it… as many times as I feel like it.  And in this amusement park, I can even stop the ride have way down a giant hill!   I’m finding that, at the beginning of the week it was difficult for me to even accept the fact that I had this type of freedom.   It felt awkward not having an “agenda” imposed upon me by an outside force.  But now I’m beginning to realize that this is what “creative writing” is all about.  And this lab is daily proof to me why choreographers need that freedom just as much as any other writer.  Unfortunately for choreographers, that freedom is simply much more difficult to come by.  I feel truly blessed to have had the support I have had up to this point.  I couldn’t be where I am without it.

 


Oct
04

BDL – DAY 4

I really only worked on one number today for our 4 hours in the studio.  And I’m far from finished with it.  Every hour that goes by makes me wish I had another hour to work.  But it helps to remember that I’m not here for a specific “product”.  I’m here to observe and learn from the process.  And I’m finding that my own choreographic process is evolving daily.   I’m loving every second of it.


Oct
04

BDL- SOME PHOTOS

I have a newfound respect for dance photographers.  It’s crazy hard to get decent shots of people whizzing around a dance studio at top speed.  These are the best I could come up with from the past couple days.

 

     

  

  

 


Oct
03

BDL – DAY 3

In honor of the 3rd day of the lab (also Oct 3) I began a 3rd dance.  Yet again, I was reminded of why this lab works.  Today, on the train, I got a yen to try something.  So I did.  I walked into rehearsal and after we had a brief warm-up I launched into the new idea.  Lo and behold… it may end up being one of my favorites.  We shall see.  The point is, the freedom I have to explore any idea at any time, in a proper space, with amazing dancers,  is leading me to create things I don’t believe I could have pre-planned.   I have the freedom to fail.  The freedom to scrap an idea.  Or the freedom to linger on an idea to my heart’s content.  The results of this freedom are amazing to experience.   I did a dreadful job of taking pictures today and my internet is giving me issues… so…. pictures to come tomorrow!

 

 


Oct
02

BDL- DAY 2

Day 2 was productive and informative.  After a brief warm up and improv session, we finished a small piece I began yesterday and we started on another.  Both pieces are rather expressionistic and I realized today that this may be the very first time I’ve ever created choreography like this.  In this way, The Lab is working exactly the way I hoped it would.  I went in today with no preconceptions about what I was going to discover.  I began dancing around and following my impulses and that evolved into a vocabulary for a new piece — a piece I wasn’t even sure I was going to attempt this month.  But viola, I’m into it and enjoying it and going to continue with it.  Already… in only two days… I have been able to explore movement that I would not have gotten any other opportunity to explore.  It’s incredibly validating to look at the material I’m creating and think, “Yeah…there’s really no other place for me to do this kind of work right now.  This lab is it.”  The only downside is that we’re dancing so much I keep forgetting to take pictures!  I’ll try to remember tomorrow and post a few.


Oct
02

THE BROADWAY DANCE LAB HAS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED!

Thanks so much to all who have supported THE BROADWAY DANCE LAB!  We had our first rehearsal yesterday and it was a really joyful one.  First days are always tricky:  How do we start?  How do we begin the process of getting to know each other and building artistic trust?  Well I can say that the company of 10 dancers I have assembled are a dream.  They jumped right in to the work and quickly began alleviating any anxieties I had about how our first day might go.  I am confident that we will have a hugely creative month in the rehearsal room together and I can’t wait to share more as the days progress.


Sep
03

BBC PROMS

I just returned from London where I directed and choreographed PROM 59:  The Broadway Sound for BBC Two.  I had a marvelous time creating a surprise finale number called “Tap Your Troubles Away” (from the musical, Mack and Mabel). It was a great, big, fun, old-fashioned tap extravaganza and I was fortunate enough to work with 14 fantastic young tappers who knocked it out of the park in only 3 rehearsals!  Leading them was the phenomenally talented Anna-Jane Casey.  She was a total star and a gift to me from the Musical Theater gods.   It was a televised event at The Royal Albert Hall – a gorgeous, 5,000 seat stadium.  Sadly, we in America can’t tune in to BBC Two due to BBC regulations.  But here is a short clip from YouTube that they have posted:

“Tap Your Troubles Away” – BBC Prom 59: The Broadway Sound

It was an absolute blast reuniting with a good friend and an incredible conductor, John Wilson.  He’s a majorly gifted talent and a lover of classic musicals.  A true genius.  Also… I got the chance to work with one of my all time favorite entertainers – the creator of “Family Guy”, Seth McFarlaine.  What a joy it was getting to work with him.  Hope to be able to do it again someday!