|Fire Island Dance Festival|
Photo by Whitney Browne
After class, we moved to the stage for rehearsals!
Troy usually began rehearsing Dear and Blackbirds with Harrison and me first because we needed only 15-30 minutes to run the piece (this allowed the other five dancers to take a quick break before moving on to the other two ballets). At the Fire Island Dance Festival we performed an excerpt of the pas de deux; in Telluride, we were to show the complete nine minute plus pas. At this intense degree of altitude, Harrison and I felt out of shape. Just a week prior out by the ocean, we were performing seven minutes without any problems. Yet, at 8500 feet above sea level, we couldn’t even get through the first movement --only 2.5 minutes! We started out slow, stopping when we felt like we were going to “die”, making sure we did not overdo it the first couple of days. We wanted to gain momentum but not peak too soon (a dancer tries to time the readiness of the piece and the performance just right so you are at your highest level the day of the performance). We worked our way through all four movements daily.
|New Salle Piece|
Photo by Troy Schumacher
Claire fit in nicely, beginning to make the role her own right from the start. We made it through Impulse, but it was definitely rough. Luckily we had six more days 'til it was to be performed!
After a quick lunch break, Troy and I started to work on the last piece, title to be determined, with the other five dancers not involved in Dear and Blackbirds. Currently it is noted as New Salle piece as the collaborators are Troy, Ellis and David Salle, an artist often exhibited at MOMA. I mentioned “Troy and I” because I am his ballet mistress or as he likes to call it, the “Assistant to the Choreographer”. I have filled this position before, click here to read about my experience during Cut Capers, and had a wonderful time working side by side with Troy and the other dancers, just in this new capacity. The New Salle piece was a work in progress. Troy had choreographed about 12 minutes while we were in New York City, but had hopes of finishing the piece before our workshop performance in Telluride. Daily we would go through each section, of which there are eight, work, clean and then he would continue to create.
By the end of the day, sometimes 5pm but mostly 6pm, we were all exhausted. A quick stop at the local market, Clark’s, to grab any needed ingredients for the evening's meal and we were off to the Mesa for dinner and bed!