We are almost entering the third week here in Shanghai. Lots has happened in the past 14 days and lots more to be done in the remaining two weeks. The project has come to the point where everyone needs to concentrate on putting in extra personal work to take things to the next level. Studio homework!
In the same way as students in school get daily math problems to solve, dancers should spend good time on their own for further development. This element is often encouraged in the spacious Shanghai Dance Theatre studios we are currently working in.
To take responsibility for your own work after being well guided at first, is an empowering feeling for a dancer. Old-fashioned methods are gone where the teacher stands in front of a group and dictates word by word, without the dancer thinking and questioning for himself how to achieve something. Being more autonomous with one’s work, allows maturity to grow and can develop beautiful detail in movement. It is clear that both Iratxe and Igor are attracted to working with dancers who make intelligent conscious decisions and think for themselves.
Everyone had a productive afternoon. We split up and worked in two different studios. In the one, new material was being taught; in the other, dancers were busy cleaning up phrases and continued to solve problems. The hours of class and rehearsal far outnumber the far fewer moments we experience in performance in front of an audience. The Metamorphosis dancers clearly enjoy the daily grind, and so too get inspired by the hard work that Igor and Iratxe dedicate to all they do. Their motivation is infectious - we say cheers to that!
(Picture By Johnatan Molina)