Warning: completely self centered post ahead. But there are pictures, so stick around.
Back in September, I auditioned for a piece for one of my favorite choreographers at USC having no clue what was ahead of me. Looking back, I knew I did not really have any time to add in another performing commitment, but I did anyways. I’m definitely glad I did. Now with “Woven” less than 5 days away, I feel the need to recap of my time spent working on this piece. Partially because I love being nostalgic and partially because I want to talk anyone and everyone reading this into coming.
I remember my first day of rehearsal pretty clearly. I remember being exhausted by the end of it all. The choreography is unforgiving. There is not a second you are onstage that you are not going 100% full out. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting down, you’re still going 150%. I freaking love it. (This picture is from one of our first rehearsals, can you tell we’re dying?)Nothing feels better than walking off stage and thinking “YES I SLAYED” and being completely out of breath. I also remember being really really excited first and foremost. Unfortunately, at USC I do not usually get to perform in my own style. Thankfully, Stephanie Wilkins allowed me the freedom to make this movement feel like my own. This is my third time working with Stephanie since coming to USC in 2012. She is a wonderful, passionate choreographer who is not afraid to put her heart and soul into her work. It was pretty cool to think back on working with her when I was a freshman and comparing it to now. My, how things have changed.
So in Woven there are six dancers: the main characters Jack and Jill played by my beautifully talented friends Anthony and Dallas. We call them Danthony for short. They are wonderful actors and technicians and totally deserve the spotlight. The remaining four include my friends Vidal, Emily, and Dustin. We don’t have any couple names, though. Throughout the show we play different characters in order to move the plot along. But don’t let that fool you, we dance just as much as Danthony. I was lucky enough to get paired with Vidal for the show. (We are goof balls, can’t you tell?)
We were friends before Woven started but now we are almost inseparable. We are probably the loudest of the bunch and sometimes, the most distracted. I think we are both self diagnosed with ADD. We have a lot to say both spoken and through dance and I think that is what has kept us so close throughout this process. (We can also be serious.. kinda) Emily and Dustin are the strong ones of the group. They are like the tiger waiting to pounce in the corner. They are so powerful when they perform but are so quiet (sometimes.. Dustin…) otherwise. I have so much love for all these people, and I think that becomes obvious when we get onstage. I’m looking forward to dancing beside them on Saturday.
But Woven is not all about the dancers. Mark Rapp, the master mind behind the music of Woven, has also played a huge role in this process along with all of the musicians involved (subs included!). The mood completely changed the first day Mark and the musicians played at rehearsal. Their music inspired us to be more involved, to listen to what was going on and not just “dance-by-number.” It gave us a breath of life. I never knew jazz music and contemporary choreography could intertwine so beautifully. It’s not predictable, and that’s what makes it interesting.
And now it is all coming to an end. Costumes are bought. Venue is ready. I don’t know how I feel about it yet. Maybe I’ll do a follow up blog next week… but right now I am just excited. I’m ready to perform. I’m ready to show off all of our incredible hard work that we have put into this. I’m ready to step onstage with some of my favorite people and do this thang. I hope you all will join me. The show is Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm at Harbison Theatre. I hope I see all of you there. Buy your tickets here: http://www.harbisontheatre.org/woven/
Mark, if you are reading this, I hope you know I straight up STALKED your Facebook to get these pictures. I hope you don’t mind….