Thursday, July 30, 2015

Telluride Round 2

BalletCollective in Telluride
Being in Telluride has been a breath of fresh air especially for me following my tick ordeal. From the mountainous view seen from my peaceful terrace, the lush green landscapes, wildlife sightings and welcoming community, BalletCollective feels at home.

This week, BalletCollective has been hard at work and hard at play! Each day the dancers take ballet class, taught by Troy, and then begin the day's rehearsals inhaling bottled oxygen every step of the way. The altitude here in Telluride is over 8,700 ft, and takes time to get used to. Last year I tried to be tough and refrain from using the oxygen, but this year I have no shame. It is helping me with the Lyme diseases and with the stamina needed for the intense ballets.

This year's workshop performance at Telluride's The Palm Theater will include last year's Dear and Blackbirds, the new Mark Dancigers male duet featuring David and Taylor, and the new group ballet composed by Ellis Ludwig-Leone. Both new works, though they were started in our Millbrook residency this past June, have been refined and polished here in Telluride. Troy's goal is to get the works in great shape for the workshop performance this Saturday which will then function as finished templates for our upcoming New York season at the Skirball Center November 4th and 5th.

David and Taylor in Bunker, Photo: Troy Schumacher
In the midst of rehearsing five hours a day, we make time for hot tubs to soak our muscles, walks along the river, nighttime gondola rides, fun family dinners, ice cream runs, and social events to raise awareness for our upcoming show.

Additionally, Troy has begun filming at some of Telluride's most remote and beautiful landscapes to capture moments from each new work soon to become short films. Last year Harrison, Troy and I filmed the last movement of Dear and Blackbirds on Willson Messa (where Harrison's childhood home stands). The film captures the emotion of our dance and the magical picturesque backdrop of Telluride.

Just yesterday, Troy, David and Taylor ventured to a brick bunker-like location with painted rustic doors, rough ground, and shot moments from the male duet. Today, Troy and Harrison are ATVing to a remote quarry near a waterfall in the mountains to shoot Harrison's solo from the new group ballet. I can't wait for you to see the footage.
Harrison in Quarry, Photo: Lauren King

Tonight we have an open rehearsal for the community to come experience the residency and its creative process. Then the dancers, Brandon, Troy and I will head to a cocktail party celebrating BalletCollective followed by a pig roast in the park with the Telluridians!