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 Post subject: Dance Reconstructions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2000 10:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Help!! Has anyone out there ever participated in or coordinated a reconstruction of an old work? I have to reconstruct an old work of mine for a company here in Seattle. I looked at the video last night...yikess...! It's going to be a challenging job! Any advice or helpful hints?


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 Post subject: Re: Dance Reconstructions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2000 10:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Do you have any of the dancers on hand from the previous production to do coaching? If you do, count your blessings. Let the dancers watch the tape in the studio. When I did that as a dancer we all really helped each other in figuring the choreography out and then the choreographer came sorted out the bits we couldn't decipher from the tape. <P>Dance is really ephemeral, isn't it? You just can't put it on a tape and think you've got it saved for good.


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 Post subject: Re: Dance Reconstructions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2000 11:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I have had to do that from a tape - and it is very difficult. What helped me was the notes I had kept. I always made a habit of notating (my own special lanaguage) of everything I choreographed. That plus the tape and music - and my body would remember it. <P>How exact a copy does it have to be? Perhaps you can consider it an update?


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 Post subject: Re: Dance Reconstructions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2000 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Basheva, the idea of an "update" is the perfect way to approach this kind of project. From a semiotics perspective no thing can actually be "re-created" anyway, it only really existed in its original fleeting form. The cultural theorists arguement being somewhat along the lines of it can only be a representation of a representation of a representation, and so on and so on... Image<P>So, basically that means don't sweat it, think of it as re-investigating your original piece within the new framework of where you are now in time and space.


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 Post subject: Re: Dance Reconstructions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2000 5:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I met one of the Rambert dancers yesterday who told me about their experiences with Mats Ek, learning 'She Was Black'. He told me that initially they learnt the work from one of Ek's associates and then for the final 10 days the choreographer continued the work. <P>He made lots of changes - partly due to his own memory of the work, partly to suit the individual dancers and partly because he had thought of new ideas. There was slight confusion right at the end, when Ek came back for 1 final day, after he had been working in between on the same work with his own company and was confused between the two versions.<BR> <BR>However, it all worked out fine and the dancers found it an amazing experience. It showed on-stage with the commitment and energy that the Company brought to the work. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 18, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Dance Reconstructions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2000 10:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
No I don't have any of the original dancers, unfortunately. I don't have any notes either. In fact, I looked at the video and all I could think was "did I really choreograph this piece"? I liked it, but had no memory...barely any rehearsal memories..it WAS over 5 years and many dances ago!! I'll have to look at the video again!!


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 Post subject: Re: Dance Reconstructions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2000 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Trina - I bet if you just start to move to the music - your body will slowly remember it. Especially if you feed it some chocolate first.....only kidding.....I wish you luck with it. <P>But, I do find that my body remembers things that my mind has forgotten.


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