This week I wanted to give you a behinds-the-scenes look at how a dance performance goes from the studio to the stage. The amount of energy, work, and time that goes into putting on a production always amazes and surprises me- from setting a rehearsal schedule to rehearsing the dances, planning and preparing costumes, preparing the music (whether it be live or recorded), designing and printing a program, marketing and advertising, and so so much more. Yet, every single time I realize that’s it all worth it! All the effort and time pays off in deep satisfaction and fulfillment of doing what I love most! It’s truly a feeling that can’t be replaced, a full-body bliss!
As you probably already know, in addition to performing new modern dance works, RammDance company performs the authentic repertory of Isadora Duncan, who was the mother of modern dance in America. This is something I’ve been doing literally since I was born (well, actually, while I was still in the tummy :0) as both my mother and aunt have been immersed in performing, directing, and coaching this unique style of dance for their entire lives. Anna Duncan (one of Isadora’s adopted daughters and main pupils) taught them in the basement of their house in Queens, NY!
This short video includes rehearsal footage and photos in preparation for a performance this past Fall in NYC. You will see clips of three dances in rehearsal: Narcissus, Ballspiel, and Death and the Maiden. These dances were choreographed at the very beginning of the 20th century by Isadora Duncan and passed down directly from my mother and aunt to me.
You’ll see in Death and the Maiden, my mother Adrienne was trying to get me to “HOLD!” certain movements and extend them longer rather than rush through them. She explains it by telling me to add punctuation to the phrases; You need to have periods, commas, explanation marks, etc. in your dancing- if the movement is just one long run on sentence the audience will get lost.
Disclaimer: I couldn’t find a ponyholder anywhere when I first got to my parents’ apartment in NYC, so yes, that is indeed a red scrunchee in my hair :0)