Last Thursday was the RAW Discovery showcase at the Paragon in St. Louis. I was one of 30 artists of various mediums (film, photography, fashion design, jewelry construction, music, and of course, performing arts) displaying our talents, work, or in some cases, inhibitions.
THe showcase was postponed a week because of Snowpocalypse and by this point, I was pretty much ready to get it over and done with. It was pretty stressful putting this one together- very little rehearsal time, last-minute cast changes, expensive pilates balls, no budget for costumes, and a poor stage for dance were among the hassles. I wanted to borrow balls from gyms in exchange for maybe some teaching. No one had the size I wanted or could loan them out so I had to buy them. I had envisioned beautiful dresses with funky colored biker shorts underneath for costumes. We ended up in various, non-matching leotards, black shorts, and colored ballet skirts. My only request of the space was that the stage be cleared of speakers and lights and all manner of junk while the dancers performed. When we teched the piece before the show, it was all clear. Then at showtime, SURPRISE! big chunk of carpet in the middle of the stage, and about a foot off the perimeter of the entire stage cluttered with lights, speakers, and cords perfect to trip over. After the show, I was just ready to deflate the balls, exhale a deep sigh of relief, and go home.
I’m still really glad that I did it. I’m still really happy to have created something new that I actually like a lot and could see myself using in the future when better stages are available. I would be happy to work with the five dancers that I used any time again. They were fabulous. I actually miss that little extra ‘hassle’ in the day of rehearsing in between working at Common Thread and heading off to teach. I miss the work more than I value that sliver of time. I miss waking up in the middle of the night with sections of choreography coming to my should-be-sleeping head, scrambling to write them down and remember them always..or at least for the next rehearsal.
My greatest hope in taking on this endeavor was that it would open some doors, maybe provide me with some more opportunities, or at least the video and documentation to apply for further opportunities, and to get my (forgive the phrase) choreography mojo back. I had almost forgotten how much fun and what an honor, a chore, a headache, and ultimately a dream it is to be able to make up dance and see it all played out.
Here is a sample of said documentation from the piece, ‘Ritual Bounce’ performed at the Paragon. See more here!) Doesn’t it just put a spring in your step? It does for me. xo- Jess