Upping the ante on dance coverage and conversation
Posts from Paris: Dancing Toward a Premiere
Photo: Lisa Kraus

Posts from Paris: Dancing Toward a Premiere

by Lisa Kraus

We got onstage yesterday for the first time. This is when “the rubber meets the road.”  For anyone not around for those 1960s tire ads, that’s shorthand for moments when you prove your mettle.
Glacial Decoy is a tough dance to do because you have to have abandon in the movement, which swoops and swells and dives and careens and flings and jabs, and exactitude in the rhythms, shapes and spacing. You might say “But any dance could ask that!” And then I’d describe to you how its four dancers travel in tandem as though invisibly yoked to a shared harness, yet far enough apart that it’s hard visually to determine those distances, how when limbs fly or actions tip, the dancer who flies higher or spreads wider instantly draws the eye as an exception. It’s a cruel and delightful juxtaposition of dance freedom and bondage. Maybe this is why I love the dance so much.
When they get onstage dancers’ habits stubbornly reassert themselves and no matter how many times you have corrected a given movement, or provided a spatial landmark, they might pop out, veering back to instinct. Can they stay awake enough when adrenaline is high and when coping with costumes, an ever changing backdrop and all that performance means, to be both accurate and full? This is what we are working on in the week leading up to performance.
Here are the dancers earlier this week in Chauvire, one of the two round studios. (They don't show the spatial demands I mention earlier, but do show kinesthetic delight.*)

And this is the other round studio, Zambelli.

Here they are getting ready for the first run on the Opera stage.

After everyone left, I took some pix of the empty theater. The tech guy working with the slides confided to me that this is how he loves the theater best. What is it about those moments? Such potential…

* * * * * * *
*Thanks to Barbara Dilley for this term.

The set and costumes pictured are by Robert Rauschenberg.  Dancers pictured are: Caroline Bance, Letizia Galloni, Christelle Granier, Juliette Hilaire, Laurence Laffon, Caroline Robert,  Gwenaelle Vautier, Severine Westermann.
All photos by Lisa Kraus.

Two previous posts in this series are here and here.


By Lisa Kraus
October 24, 2013

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