Day 8

Another scorcher this morning, but luckily later in the day gallons of welcoming torrential rain cooled the air. Today is the last day of rehearsal and preparation before the performance at the Long Museum tomorrow. The first public appearance for the dancers in Shanghai. A long, good day ahead.

I have often heard Igor and Iratxe say, “kill it from the beginning, then there is something to work from. You don't have time to waist. Go all out from the beginning.” This is the aim for each day. It’s normal for the body to be physically tired as a dancer but that goes with the job description - so get over it, and let’s go!

So many valuable things were spoken about this morning before the blood started pumping, all in preparation for tomorrows Long Museum encounter: for example how to manage oneself when you do a twenty-minute improvisation in a public space. It is the moment to explore what you researched in the studio; if you don’t know what you are doing, twenty-minutes can feel like an eternity; when to take well timed pauses so that the dance becomes a journey with highs and lows and the observer is kept intrigued.

Also important is to be deeply buried in the moment so that you don't get distracted with a close-up audience or overwhelming thoughts in the mind. On the other hand it can be interesting to use the viewer as a vehicle to continue the story telling. Many impulses occur in inspiring spaces (architecture, art work, music) - multiple possibilities exist.

The dancer becomes a kind of live sculpture in this museum scenario and can be viewed from all angles, so naturally one could feel very exposed. The answer is to enjoy and work with this “nakedness.”

Another main point for both Iratxe and Igor is to find enjoyment in everything. The simple notion: if the dancer is having fun the audience in turn does as well. Dance originated for pleasure and to express, may this always continue to be the case!

(Picture by Igor Bacovich)

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