The Making Room

Investigating innovative ways of sharing the creative process from start to premiere

august 2016: rehearsal residency, velocity dance center, seattle

August 7–10, 2016


Context Bump: Darrell and Tré, Toni Morrison and Charlie Rose, The Read and Nelly

Darrell, Tré and I had last met in June, building a quartet with Angie and Christal, working in and around DFW’s story Incarnations of Burned Children. D&T have known each other most of their lives, danced together now and again in various projects. This meeting of old friends in their current individual dance lives carries a palpable intimacy. Over the four work days there’s a bump in context in our work together, built on the two of them plus what else we bring into the room. Rick Manayan acts as DJ, Shannon Drake as scribe following the train of our conversation, Lila as project base. Someone brings in The Read podcast, an episode on the BET awards and Kanye West. (Here’s their intro podcast from SoundCloud.). I bring in Nelly after hearing his tune Country Grammar at a donut shop down the street from Velocity Dance Dancer; being of an older generation I’d missed both of these features their first time around. We modulate focus, finding an interview from the 1990’s between Toni Morrison and Charlie Rose on responses to her book Paradise. Race, blackness, stories of women and men are in the making room.

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We set up various call and response dances, I join in to catch, throw and share timing and physicalities.

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By the end of the four days we’ve consolidated a duet. Much of the range of dancing has been incorporated into a succinct experience although most has been ingested and filed as back-story dancing. The tone is unforgettable, though. It has been a pivot point, a new departure, a wider syntax in use. We play with a range of accompaniment for Darrell and Tre’s duet: Mike Vargas, The Read, Nelly, Toni Morrison and Charlie Rose. Each delivery catalyzes the experience differently. This one features the Morrison/Rose conversation and Nelly. Lila has organized a showing and we’re done.

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