Malcolm's blog

Rhythmic Icarus

Great week of rehearsals! On Thursday, we tinkered with the Marriage Dance and, on Saturday, with Icarus.

Time and Space

Space issues resolved! I feel as relieved as if I had climbed a mountain and could now glide down on the cable car. Essentially, I had no control over the situation, caused by new administrative policies at our studio. This added to my frustration. Surely, if I could talk to the person in charge, I could convince them to do what I want! Luckily, I did not try to storm the battlements and all is now well.

Get Back to Work!

We are in a space crunch right now, rehearsing once a week. I hope this resolves soon!

The work, however, spins on. We made some strong additions to Icarus. Amanda flies higher than before, stepping on our backs. She has not peaked yet, but climbs up shoulders as Icarus into the air.

Alexander Short and Amanda Abrams in January Night


I saw Alex last night and he started talking about plaits and fabric for Icarus costumes. I realized that I have not even begun to think about costumes. This is always a tricky aspect of the development of a piece. Costumes represent character and place or mood. They want to reinforce the heart of a dance. I often don't know what that heart is until late in the process, but the costumes, a time-consuming stage element, need to be embarked upon early on.

Daedalus's Story

I think we'll begin a new section of Icarus, rather than a new dance. I have been contemplating starting a new project with Mary and Alex to give Amanda a little break during the show. Yet, we don't really have time to do more than start something this season. So I think we'll just work on a new section of Icarus (sorry, Amanda).

Dance Addict

Can you become addicted to dance? I suppose anything could enter your sense of normal far enough so that you would miss it. All I know is that when I don't dance, I don't feel right. I start to feel twitchy in my muscles and I start to become short with the people around me. August break is, I feel, a necessary component to maintaining a dance company. Without some recuperation, we would fail to refresh our commitment to the work. Absence gives perspective. Nevertheless, I am jonesing for rehearsals already.

Marriage Notes

Saturday, Amanda, Alex, and I played with the marriage dance. The sheet becomes an active partner in the dance. It alternately binds the dancers or separates them. One may be covered while the other is uncovered; the sheet may lie stretched between them, a fabric wall; Amanda may uproot Alex with the sheet, or vice versa.

Falling and Flying

Good material at rehearsal last night. Icarus is beginning to take shape. I have realized that we are actually at work on the second section of Icarus. We will open the dance with a runway/takeoff section that moves Amanda from stage right to stage left. This frees me up to boost the tempo in this second section and to trim some of the movement. It feels stronger.

Icarus: Tough, But Fun

We had a painstaking rehearsal of Icarus last night. I like what we created, but it seems incredible sometimes that it can take an hour to choreograph 5 seconds of material. This is just because I'm a perfectionist. If I didn't take so bloody long working and reworking the same 5 seconds, we would hardly need to rehearse at all.


Whew! Made some progress on the Marriage Dance this Saturday. We started from scratch. Instead of beginning the dance with Alex and Amanda bound tightly by the sheet, we began with the sheet stretched out like a sail. This image immediately increased my interest: the sail represents a journey, the voyage that you begin at the ceremony, then continue upon waves of joy and pain.

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