So, we are a mere two weeks away from the annual performance for Kinetics Academy of Dance. This year's theme is Mother Goose, "Mother Goose On the Loose".
There have been times during the choreographing of this year's pieces that I was pretty sure I bit off more than I could chew! Instead of setting one piece per class that was slated to perform, I took the pointe class and split it up into a collection of solos, a duet and a trio. I stuck myself choreographing four pieces instead of one!
Despite a few moments of panic and dread all of my pieces are complete. For the most part. There are bows to set, exits to nail down and some fine tuned cleaning to be done. The final touches.
This year I am amazed at how my tasks for final touches are different than from years past. Last year at this time I was threatening to take everyone off pointe if I couldn't get 100% from them. I had to light some serious fires under some tutu clad butts!
Not so much this year. I am amazed at how far our group of young dancers have come! My main points of focus for this year are filling in any gaps in movements with "displaying actions of your character", tightening up steps, setting bows and exits. Otherwise, everyone knows their steps and are coming up with great solutions for any tricky maneuvers.
I'm so proud!
Often when I am setting an ensemble piece on my young students I have a goal in mind for them learning something new. An item that they can put into their dancer's toolbox. For one of this year's pieces, Monday's Child, I wanted to expand their understanding and abilities to sustain slow graceful movements. Known as adagio or legato tempos of movement, this speed is critical for a dancer to develop. And slower does not automatically indicate easier. A dancer who can make a slow walk across a stage look graceful, intriguing and powerful can probably accomplish any other flavor of movement.
When working in an ensemble piece where dancers must sync up their movements to one another there is an added challenge. In a group of fast moving bodies an out of sync arm or leg movement can easily go undetected by the audience. Slow that tempo down, same misstep will stick out like a sore thumb!
I've enjoyed watching my young dancers hone their understandings and abilities to execute this quality of movement.
Then of course there is the Lyrical piece. There are 6 dancers and it is done to the song Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine. Not the entire song though, despite my group of students wanting the dance to go for the whole song (over 4 minutes I think. That's a long time in choreography terms!). Hence the nickname we all gave the piece - The Inception Dance, just when you think its over...Well, I finally had to call it finished, 3:22 is where we start the fade.
Costumes, props and set pieces are all coming together (thankfully those are not in my domain).
It's going to be a great show this year, and a joy to see what all of the other classes are doing. I'm excited! Perhaps in the coming week I'll be able to post some video footage of the dances these dancers have been working so hard on.