Malcolm's blog

Giselle: Reflections

The primary tension in Giselle is the question of acceptance: will Albrecht accept Giselle? will she accept him?

Alexander Short, Hannah Whitley, and Eliza Talbott in Giselle

Unpacking Aurora's Dream

In the process of restaging “Aurora’s Dream,” about a year after our last performance of it in Bogota, I realized that some of the characters were not as defined in my head as they once were. To provide clarification for my new cast, I’ve assembled the following portraits.

Videoshoot Reflections: Medusa

The night before the shoot, Denaise Seals asked me some probing questions about Medusa. Having performed the piece several times, I thought I knew it well, but I didn’t have ready answers to everything. The question that puzzled me most was, “Why does Medusa seem so calm after she loses her body?”

Prague Reflections

July 6, 2013

Having the strange experience of flying business class. I’m in an airport lounge enjoying free wine. What has my life come to?

Prague LMA workshop

Bogota Reflections


7 a.m.—Departing Bogota airport. I like Bogota in May. The rain cools everything off, but not so much that I need to wear socks in my sandals. The city has a bouncy, enthusiastic energy, but not hurried or forced. I sensed little tension, or pretension, despite the fast pace of traffic and pedestrians. Everyone seemed busy, no one seemed desperate. I would like to wake up and be a native Colombian bouncing along the streets of Bodota, but able to follow the rapid Spanish that gushes along like rivers.

Prague Reflections--part 2

July 3, 2012—Busy weekend! I taught a contact improvisation workshop at Druna from Saturday to Sunday. What fun! I connected somatics concepts to contact and they kept up with me, despite a few language conflicts. There was always someone who spoke English well enough to translate, so I left pauses during lectures for translation. It was fun to hear the concepts put forth in a different language, and to marvel at those who speak two languages so readily—I wish I were one of them!

Prague Reflections--part 1

June 24, 2012--On my way to Prague to perform and teach. It’s the kind of sticky DC weather that soaks your armpits just crossing the street. We spent the day packing, baking cookies, and trying to keep Maya sufficiently entertained to avoid shouting matches. When we get tense, she gets tense. I’d like to say that we coolly lofted our things into the bags with the deep contentment that comes from a life well lived. Of course, there was, rather, a good deal more shoving things down, bumping into each other, and smacking foreheads with things remembered and left undone.

Tinkering with Odysseus

My mythology dances emphasize the personal, human sides of heroes. "Penelope and Odysseus," for instance, is about the wife, not the husband, and about a relationship that is strung over many estranged years.

Amanda Abrams and Alexander Short in Odysseus Comes Home

To Speak or Not to Speak

Alexander Short and Amanda Abrams in Odysseus Comes Home
We have been dabbling with speech in Penelope and Odysseus. Amanda and Alex are old moving partners now and have a lot of chemistry onstage. I find it fascinating to watch them talk like Penelope and Odysseus.

Medusa Kills Perseus

We have taken on the project of making a dance of Medusa. I spend a lot of time these days thinking about the myth and what it really means. Freud sees Medusa as a symbol of castration (head cut off), yet of potence as well: phallic snakes, stony hard ons. I don't quite subscribe to his views, yet I agree that there is a paradoxical nature to the Medusa myth, and clear gender clashing.

Amanda Abrams and Alexander Short in Odysseus Comes Home

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