On the eve of the 2012 Summer Olympics, week one of the Professional Training Program is almost to a close. Most of my recent cafeteria conversation swings from what Olympic events to watch to when they are happening. It seems like watching others complete amazing feats of the body will be great way to recuperate during this rainy weekend. Not that Bates Dance Festival is anywhere close to as straining as Olympic competition, but it certainly has been a full and busy week. Let’s review.
We all attended a lecture demonstration from the Kate Weare dancers. They will be performing this Friday and Saturday evening. During the lecture, they performed one duet from the work, rotating the cast members to show the grand differences that changing dancers can make. Most notable however (for me), was how the dancers worked with their varying height differences. While gender pairings are always glaringly noticeable and complex, I’m more interested in the physical, more basic challenge of working with an entirely new body and how dancers adapt movement to continue the flow. The Kate Weare dancers stressed the importance of constantly switching roles to be able to comfortably (and seemingly effortlessly) dance well with each other.
And speaking of the practice of working with new bodies, last night there was a very full turnout for the contact improvisation jam. I spent the majority of the time watching the session. Most enjoyable was watching the youngest jammers fearlessly leap around a corner of the space with each other. These dancers, I’m guessing ages 10 and under, embodied some of the qualities most desired in a seasoned contact improviser. Confidence, generosity, and humor bubbled in the kid’s section, catching the attention of some of the adults-which led to some wonderful duets containing excellent weight shift control and boundless jumps.
Next week, stay tuned for faculty and staff interviews and pertinent Olympic highlights.
Enjoy the weekend!