The Making Room

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

march 2017: smith college


Country Grammar Trio

We’ve set up a short series of small group rehearsals. Christal, Sarah, Bronwen, Tré and I gather at Smith College. One idea is to form a quartet based on the Nelly material that surfaced in January. Nelly’s Country Grammar is Old School Hip-Hop, has great back beat, with lyrics that reference street knowledge and culture, not always kind to women but there you go. We set it, pretty much driven by my vocabulary and my take on the rhythm. The women improvise to form short solos that they clearly own. We try it out in line with a very different kind of dance from Tré. The combo doesn’t work so we separate those two dances, coming up with a Nelly trio, pretty good for now. In the meantime, Tré spins out his own Nelly solo. By the time we hit New York Live Arts it’s recirculated as a reference to other Tré bits that emerged much later.

Bronwen and The Librarian

Bronwen has been building a solo over the last month. We’ve found a way of working together: she works toward setting, I suggest and coach along the lines of timing and dynamic junctures, she makes it so, and we both note how satisfying and old school this feels. For the heck of it I ask Sarah to sit downstage of her. This will lead to Sarah the Librarian, a character (?) that she threads through the piece. I don’t know what she’s thinking about but I coax toward a similar juncture of timing and dynamics of mental wanderings. They’re both great at this. In time, Bronwen’s solo with Sarah the Librarian will separate into their own places in the work.

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