Oh. It’s a kiss.

I am on #missioninspiration again, and I was looking at these dancing shots on IG, and found an image of Diana Vishneva in the weirdest partnering-configuration I’ve seen. So I looked up her hashtags and discovered Anjelin Preljocaj’s Le Parc, a contemporary (because of the choreographic style) period (because it seems to be set in the powder wigs period) ballet about society, intrigue and love, in the repertoire of the Paris Opera Ballet. Most of it is set in courtyards where everyone’s in lush ballgowns, but the most popular part is this duet with the two leads wearing only their night shirts. I was like, ehhh at first, because they were just rubbing their heads into each others’ bodies, like my dog rubs his forehead on my lap when he feels I’ve been away for too long. This video I was watching was of Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris, and he wasn’t extending his beautiful legs in a fancy jumping turning trick. I was getting antsy. And then she grabs him by the shoulders and kisses him. And he is so overwhelmed, he spins around. So they spin with their lips locked together and wow, that’s what that picture is about. This below is a clearer one of Aurelie Dupont and Nicholas le Riche for your appreciation.

du 07-12 au 31-12-2013

(I just love how the guy’s arms are just on the side like that. But you only notice that in pictures, because in the video, you only see them spinning.)

I understood then where the duet was coming from because apparently, he had been desperately in love with her all throughout the ballet, and finally, she gives in to him, and yet, she is still in control. I’m still not impressed with the choreography before she grabs his shoulders for the kiss, and I’ve always been divided on the onstage kiss thing, I mean, do you absolutely need it?, but this one, well, wow.

Problem is, I was looking for ensemble dance inspiration, not romantic duets. Come on, brain, cooperate.


Just realised that I’ve actually done this move before, in But You Didn’t. Except it’s fewer spins, and I’m not kissing my partner, and he’s holding me because my hands are on his arms, not his shoulders. Wow, that took me a while to realise. It’s the kiss! It’s distracting!

Here’s the video if you have the patience.


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.