performed
October 18, 2008

now we are done. really. the performance is gone, finished, finito. so much adrenaline and anticipation for 10 minutes of dance (sorry, I meant movement)! but it was cool, I enjoyed the performance very much. we had a long day at the theater, with short times for spacing and light cues check, and with a dress rehearsal just before the actual performance. but it was fun, nice energy in the group and -I think- a nice audience for Japanese standards (though I may be completely wrong…). people were clapping less than I expected, but at the same time a lot of them clapped to the music in the (coreographed and musicalized) bow. I had my moment of public embarrasment when they called my name and I had to bow from the audience, and then everyone was happy. almost everyone, I think. some people where not so excited about my work, but that is expectable, natural and fine. other people liked it quite a bit, and specially the people from the University seemed quite positive, both the dancers and the teachers. we also had visitors from the Argentinian Embassy, the Cultural Aggregate (so the Japanese audience had the luxury of having 2 Argentinian Pablos in the same room at the same time!), and two Japanese secretaries who were very sweet in their Argentinian accented Spanish.

my coreography was quite nicely performed, I think. as usual, just the presence of the audience already makes all your flaws evident to yourself. the structure had it’s dips of energy, and moments where it was very difficult to have a nice (structural) timing. I also realized only today how much the piece was rehearsed for a small space like the studio, where I was never too far from them. specially using the voice would have needed a lot more practicing in a space that big. but a very beautiful surprise (I am very sorry to say that I didn’t plan it in advance) is that the movement and structures, and a lot of the spacing, worked very well for those distances and perspective (the 300 seats audience was higher than the stage, like in a flat floor theater or auditorium). it was nice to have an overview of the evolutions in space and group relations.

all in all, I am very happy with this experience. it was a great process of negotiations, finding communicative strategies for the rehearsals and constantly measuring the status of the process. this last issue of calculating progress in every rehearsal, being avaricious with time, is not something I want to carry on to my next projects, but it was an interesting training. maybe it’s good if it can become a subconscious skill, or an intuitive practice, instead of a neurosis of sorts.

also, I have been busy discussing with myself how much physical involvement do I need to have in rehearsals. I love to move with the performers, and it helps me to think, but it also keeps me away from watching, and that is sometimes a loss… but this is always a kind of dialectic of my rehearsals, and the thing is in this process it got very hightened because sometimes moving with the performers seemed like the only way to communicate some things. so, happily, I did not arrive to any conclusion, but it’s been good to have such a simple and serious question so present every time.

in this trip I’ve been enjoying also the concentration of being here mostly only for that project. yes, I had time to walk the city, do some sightseeing or other experiences, but my attention was very focused in the piece, and that was a very beautiful feeling. and though I don’t wish to always be somewhere where I don’t really live, for once (for one process) it was a cool feeling. or… I don’t know. maybe I can anyways dedicate all that mental energy to a project, because I do feel like that was more or less the case with the previous coreography. maybe I’m changing. maybe I’m learning how to be more focused… let’s hope so.

then after the performance we had a nice dinner, in the Japanese terms that I described many posts ago: a little bit of food, a lot of drinking. I was surprised at myself (about the drinking, I mean), to be honest. it was great, I had some cool conversations and finally got to socialize more with the dancers. I thought that it was very stupid of me not to have organized something like that (though more modest) before – next process I think the first task has to be: go out for a drink together. such a rich experience. we talked also about the pieces and that led to exchanging what we find interesting to see in performances… once more I found myself speaking pretentiously and posing a little bit, and once more I didn’t repress it because it showed me some of my own opinions on things. and also because I am starting to feel very comfortable with abusing the word dance in my professional vocabulary, trying not to fear that it might sound dull or lame, and trying not to let it become one very specific reduced idea. it’s fun… oh, and before I forget: we also discussed Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and (my beloved) Jackie Chan, masters of timing and movement…

well… I do feel a little bit empty and sad now, about leaving Tokyo and about not rehearsing anymore. I will miss the dancers and the studio. and I will miss this city.

hmm. I think I want more…

Advertisements