Malcolm's blog

How to Fly

The fluidity of flight is challenging to arrange. We took a new direction in Icarus last night. Taking out some of the longer holds, we worked on creating more ongoing movement. Now Icarus, played by Amanda Abrams, spends relatively little time on any particular partner.

Good Morning!

Spent the morning in the studio. It reminds me why I do it all: the teaching, choreographing, booking gigs, performing, making costumes, composing soundscores, writing releases...it all comes down to the moments in the studio, breath splashing my throat, heels over head, scapulae singing, brain quiet--it's all about that peacefulness.

I practice dance as a kind of religion. It's a well that I replenish with faith: faith in my body/mind connection, faith in the wisdom of my subconscious, faith in life, the wild ride for which I am lucky enough to have a ticket.

Return to Start

I think the sheet dance is about marriage. The sheet references the bedroom and the movement shows two people, connected by a strong bond, who must work together/around each other. I don't know yet how it will transform in time.

Fail?

When is it time to give up on a dance? The duet with Alex and Amanda has a few nice moments already, but I am not yet excited about it. I don't think my themes are clear enough: I seem to be trying things without deciding why. To start, we have simply shared weight, alternating from Alex to Amanda. This creates a rhythmic sequence, but it gets old pretty quick. It was a metaphor for the steady rhythm and weight sharing of sex, a good place to start. I understand now that I need to change up the dynamics.

End of Siamese Twins

I begin to think that my reluctance for our new duet has to do with themes. Maybe creating a dance about marriage, my marriage, is just too personal, even though it will be abstract. I have started to look for other themes of people unable to get free of each other. I’m not saying conjoined twins is the final idea, just a notion to play with. Alex and Amanda are tied to each other and it restricts their movements. Siamese twins could be a more fun, campy idea to play with than marriage. It may, more likely, serve as a transitional idea to one that forms later.

Dance, Dance, Dance

My mind is full of ideas today. I still want to travel, I still want to perform. One major problem is space. The beauty of a theater is that it offers enough space to dance. The negative is that you have to bring people into a theater somehow, as opposed to bringing the dance to where they are already. Maybe a one-week residency would work: offer a week of classes, develop choreography, have a show at the end. It does not allow for much travel or sight seeing. Got to be a balance in here somewhere.

What Now?

Had some mis-starts tonight working on Icarus. I think I finally got down to something at the end. Amanda is our Icarus and none of my original ideas worked when I saw them. Finally, an image of Amanda perched on someone's back materialized in my head. It looks about right and this may be my way into the myth: not through the man, but the birds. Not only do Icarus and Daedalus fly like birds with feathered wings, but Daedalus gets in trouble years before for pushing his nephew Talus off the Acropolis and Talus turns into a bird on the way down.

How to Tour Internationally?

Contemplating a change of strategy. We have focused lately on dances for the stage. The brilliant part of dancing onstage is that we have so much space, sprung floors, and cool lighting! The not so brilliant part is that it costs so much to rent a theater that we become dependent on ticket revenue to make our money back. This is fine in some respects: it's a fun challenge to get folks interested in our performance. I am faced with my fundamental inability to raise audience in foreign countries, however.

In the Bedroom

Starting to sour on this whole Icarus thing. It's a bit less personal than the dances I am accustomed to create. I can speak to the Icarus story only so far: I know the reckless giddiness of feeling carefree, driving fast, tumbling through the air in a dance studio. I know how it feels to push too hard, to run into trouble because I couldn't let something go. Yet these are pretty abstract associations with this myth. Icarus speaks universally; I am more interested in speaking specifically.

Reflections: The Philadelphia/Washington DC Exchange

Show's over and my mind races to the next dance before I have really processed the last one. I have this lovely idea of portraying Icarus: Alex held aloft, swooping and diving, not touching ground for the whole piece. It's a risky job, but sounds so fun!

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