Fringe Festival Blog – Part 2

Captain’s Log, Stardate April 15th, 2010

On this day that Earthlings call “Tax Day” I am finding myself ever so nervous about my upcoming audition for the Fringe show. While I already have a pretty healthy roster of girls for the show (including an upcoming show for the GLBT festival that has not been finalized as of yet), I know that I will find something special in every girl that I audition. Although I have already received a handful of resumes submitted online and my blog is reaching 20-40 hits per day (thanks to some help from my friends promoting the audition), my worry stems around the fact that I am dubious that I will get any new male talent. I don’t need a male dancer of Alvin Ailey capability, just a dude to stand there, move around and every once in a while pick up a chick and flip her around. Of course it would be nice to have a strong male dancer (or three) but they are such a commodity and every choreographer knows this. Not to talk smack, but sometimes the boys are bigger divas than the girls because they understand their value and how sparse they are in the dance world. Most dance graduates are scooped up by dance companies who have the fiscal ability to keep them in their troupes, so as an independent producer of my work, I can only offer meager salaries.

I am still hopeful.

Last weekend I worked out some of the choreography with two of my dancers, Meagan, the vixen that beats her own drum; the unruly child who always manages to shine come showtime despite her disinterest in dancing full out in rehearsals. Tammy was my other girl, the sprightly one with the infectious laugh and bubbly personality that always lightens the mood and is very expressive about reassuring me when I get doubtful about my compositions. It felt good to hear “Oooh, I really like that” and “That’s cool” when coming up moves. I am happy that I finally started this project and it will be smooth sailing (creatively at least) now that I have something tangible to work with.

I started working on the song “Androgynous Mind” by Sonic Youth that will depict a homage to transsexuals and gays who have been the victim of hate crimes. I also came up with some movements for “Shame and Fortune” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs that will be a satire about Lady Gaga, Beyonce and some other pop diva star, I haven’t decided yet. I’m really looking forward to making the costumes for that number.

I have already changed some of the musical selections. Most of the playlist consists of rock and classical, but I think that some of the classical music won’t fit into the overall motif, so I might have to scratch one or two. Plus I realized that one of the songs I just choreographed in a show at The Painted Bride, so I might nix that altogether. The idea for “Man Bites Dog” happened last summer and I drew from a list of songs I keep on hand that have inspired me in one way or the other. Funny though, I did re-choreograph a song I used 4 years ago in that same Painted Bride show, but it was too appropriate for the piece not to.

I’ve added “He Hit Me” by Grizzly Bear, a newish alternative band that is indicative of my taste in music. I wanted to use the original by The Crystals even though the first version I ever heard was by Hole, my favorite band of all time. I chose Grizzly Bear because it has a very dark but effervescent sound to it and I think that the song being sung by a male creates an uncanny vibe that will add depth to the piece. It will be part 2 of a piece about domestic violence, the first part will entail a “house wife” having an affair with a man (or woman, I haven’t decided) and will be choreographed to Nina Simone’s “Turn Me On” and in the second part, the husband will find out about the adultery and physically assault the wife. It won’t be as violent as it sounds but the point will come across. I will leave the ending as a surprise, but lets just say that I will also be taking a stab at the American judicial system in this piece.

I can’t wait to start rehearsing. The juice is flowing, superfluously, and I think that this will be my tightest show yet. I am looking to give my audience a graphic, entertaining feast for the senses and I will be doing something new with how I use the venue that will entail a different kind of watching experience. It’s gonna be fierce.

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