Fringe Festival Blog – Part 11

Two rehearsals down and I’ve got a lot done so far. I’m totally departing from making my work overwrought with literal content and I’ve starting taking a more holistic approach. Instead of incorporating a lot of props and characters and dialogue, I am focusing on movement with some added abstract motifs to exploit the intent and inspiration of the work. There will be small vignettes that will be representative of different subjects that relate the the whole, particularly my satire of sensationalism in the media and pop culture.

My biggest issue is staying true to myself. I don’t inspire to make “pretty” work. There is a lot of thought and inspiration behind my compositions but just looking at it doesn’t explain the principles. I love to accentuate isolations and extensions, this is something that has to be presented in a big way because these accents tend to be very small. It is a technique I am trying to inspire in my dancers, for some it comes very naturally. I don’t want to add a whole bunch of movement just to fill the space, I think the absence of flailing your body around can be just as powerful, if not more so.

I threw some stuff together last night and I am pleased with the results. I admit, my head is kind of spinning because I have to preview the work-in-progress on Monday at National Mechanics, but I like working under pressure. Here is a clip of one of the pieces I’m working on.

Fringe Festival Blog – Part 10

I really haven’t had time to post about the last show due to my proclivities towards hard work and good times, so here is an abridged version of what’s happening.

• Viva Burlesque! was as much of a hit as it could possibly have been considering it was a one-night-only affair.

• Despite 3 crew members not showing up and a disaster of a first act (technically), we pulled it out in the second act and made a good, lasting impression on the audience (that was at about ¾ capacity).

• I hate wearing so many hats, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel like Liz Lemon sometimes.

• After the show last Thursday I proceeded to work the entire weekend (plus Monday by myself) at the gay restaurant during Pride Weekend. From what I remember, it was crazy.

• One week later and I’m back in the studio preparing for Fringe.

• I love cheese.

• I’ve got 3 numbers half complete and 1 number complete.

• I am stuck in adagio land and I really need to pick up the tempo in my choreography. I wouldn’t be doing it for me, but for the audience.

• I like slow, stretchy, passionate movement.

• I am really happy to be working with my new girls. I feel as though I’m not pushing them enough though. Yet.

• I love working with my old girls now that I am so acclimated with their abilities and their varying degrees of diva-dom.

• I don’t think I’ll ever quit smoking cigarettes.

• I have spent my weight in money over the past 6 weeks preparing both of these shows. I miss fine dining. A lot.

• It’s hot in here.

• I am doing a preview show for “Man Bites Dog” at the Fringe on Monday, June 28 at National Mechanics. You should come.

• I have been thinking about adding myself to the performance, but that would be stupid. And fun.

And now, an exclusive look at one of the pieces from “Man Bites Dog”. It’s kind of shitty and needs some work, but it has all the elements indicative of DeVo (including my ability to not remember my own choreography). This piece is about domestic violence.

Fringe Festival Blog – Part 9

It’s all happening!

I’ve really made a wonderful connection with the owner of the studio where I’ve been rehearsing for Viva Burlesque! She is an amazing person and has a great soul. She has also been instrumental in stabilizing my sanity. The studio is literally a block away from my apartment, it has a great vibe, a good floor, awesome mirrors and a sound system. It was sweet the way she asked me very matter-of-factly if the studio was going to be the new home of my dance company. She told me that us being there has really boosted her energy and the energy of the space and she’s glad we came along. She also offered to host my fringe show, a huge relief now that the deadline has passed. The space is a bit small for an audience, but I think if I configure it just right, it will work. The only thing is, I know we will have a lot of onlookers from South Street, so that should be interesting.

I am totally confident in what Viva Burlesque! will be. I have all of the choreography done so my rehearsals this week are dedicated to re-running the numbers as much as possible, in costumes (I’ve seen way too many wardrobe malfunctions, long before Mrs. Jackson’s fame). I had a few hiccups last week, primarily the factor of production week where I turn from teddy bear to super bitch and everything has to be better than PERFECT. I send nasty emails to my cast, I snap at innocent bystanders, I make my dancers feel fat and small (yes, this is possible), and I have been known to smoke more cigarettes than humanly possible. It’s all a part of the business we call “show” and it is worth every aching minute.

All I have left on the production end is trying to get the pre-show reception together. I’ve got some sweet raffle prizes lined up and I hope I get a booze sponsor to get folks tipsy before viewing. I am working on the program later and I have some props to make (a beehive, how? I don’t know) and I have some painstaking bead work to do on one of the costumes, along with some other finishing work. Should be a very long three days, then it’s off to the big show!