Throughout the night during the 24-Hour ChoreoFest, photographer Ryan Carollo visited us and captured our process of dance-making. A huge challenge of the 24-Hour ChoreoFest was to use limited time to create new work from scratch, using a theme that the community picked.
I try often to capture the creative process in photos and videos because the process if 90% of the work. We often only perform for a short 5 - 10 minutes, yet spend several hours creating what is performed that typically no one witnesses. What you'll see in the photo gallery below is the following (all photos by Ryan Carollo © 2013, Luminarium Dance's 24-Hour ChoreoFest).
Writing and discussion
We began with free-association writing exercises to collect our thoughts one times in our lives where we experienced 'gamble - gambling' (our theme). We continued to draw out the meaning of the theme through sharing, feedback and discussion.
We moved through the first section of our company warm-up, then continued with improvisation exercises across the floor. I asked dancers to move in their 'orbs of energy', imagining they were within a sphere of countless directions to move in, using a new direction as an impetus for movement. This progressed into partner-improvisation across the floor, using both mirroring and responsive techniques to create relationships.
In addition to phrase work that I create during any process, all dancers contribute movement phrases to the mix during initial phrase development. We circled action verbs and other words that resonated with us from our initial writing exercises. Those words became the inspiration to create a series of short phrases. These phrases are then shared and workshopped by the group in small feedback sessions. At a certain point, some phrases are chosen to develop into duets, trios and small group sections. We share all of the material with each other so we have a large vocabulary to pull from for the next part of the process. We also use this time to work through the technical aspects of lifts, jumps and turns that are also added to the vocabulary.
I decided on the first two phrases to start the piece. At this point, we had a few start and stops to attend a roundtable meeting at midnight and gathering at 2am to choose tech times and get some body-work done. When we returned, we continued to develop phrases, but had the anxious feeling that we needed to structure the piece as soon as possible so we could maybe get some sleep. Inspired by our theme - gamble - gambling - we wrote each phrase on a piece of paper, made two piles, and flipped a coin. Whoever guessed correctly chose a phrase from the heads or tails pile.
Shortly after we walked through the structure we created at 3:30am, we got the chance to sleep from 4:30 - 7:00am. From there, we went into tech