Part of the Process

I was thinking of changing the music of my upcoming choreography for the UMa Dance Showcase, because it was so big and overwhelming and I didn’t know if I could challenge my dancers enough to embrace it. Song in question is the Infernal Dance of the King Kaschei from Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird. Yikes, right?

While looking for new possible replacements, I stumbled onto a demo of a song Mikah was writing in 2009. The song was at the time called “Telex.” It was just keys and drums, in a very somber drum n’ bass way. I listened to it over and over the next two days, became somewhat enamoured with the thought of finally “working together,” and thought, let’s see how this goes.

So, I had a rehearsal with one of my dancers tonight and though we changed the counting, the steps actually fit the music. I was also able to elaborate on some of the sequences. I think one of the problems with Firebird was the music was so demanding and I had to fill it up somehow, as if someone was rushing me. Without that pressure, I was able to clarify things, improve things. It felt good.

Interestingly, though, while thinking of a “next step,” Sim, my dancer, said why was I so tense? What? I asked, because I actually felt so relaxed. He said I shouldn’t worry so much, just be happy, because dancing makes us happy. I laughed at that, partly because he said it to make me laugh but also partly because, um, this dance is about anger, and how it is perfectly okay to be angry. I think Sim missed the briefing.

But that made me think. Was it the music? That was written by a boy I loved with all my heart, who is now in the ether, and cannot advise me about my choreographic choices? Was the aura heavy because of that?

Watching back the video I took of our last run, while pleased that I had generated so much material, there was just something off. The feel of the work was heavy, yes, but I wasn’t achieving the part about being okay with your anger. I decided, ehh. Stop being such a coward and rise to the challenge that is Igor Stravinsky.

But thank you, Bliebie, for the clarity, for allowing me to breathe while I compose this dance. And maybe I will use “Telex” someday. Maybe when the dance is not about losing you.


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