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Septime's Blog

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday, January 29
6PM: The Great Gatsby rehearsal day ends. 
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

8:45 PM:
Today we held our new season photo shoot, an event that it is always exciting, but a bit nerve-wracking too. We had a jam-packed schedule to stick to, and it’s easy to drift off course, especially when your company dancers are as photogenic as ours! Still we managed to get all the shots for the 2010.2011 season brochure (details to come) and some new shots for our upcoming spring programs, Bolero(+) (Click here for tickets and more information) and Genius3 (Click here for tickets and more information).  
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Monday, January 25, 2010

10:20 PM:
It’s all Gatsby all the time. To date, I’ve roughed out about 10 of the 35 songs and the studios seem to be bristling with excitement about the project. I started this morning with a rehearsal for the big Charleston piece that opens Gatsby’s party in act 1. This number needs to capture the unbridled energy and optimism of the times. My goal was to create a contemporary dance with references to social dancing from the era and to tap into the wit and kookiness of Billy Novick’s orchestration of this famous song. The Charleston will involve all the members of the Company and Studio Company, although I began setting the dance on a small group in the company, led by Jade Payette and Luis Torres, who are willing and creative guinea pigs for some pretty wild and fast-paced dance moves. The day ended with a session creating a lush and sensitive duet for Daisy and Gatsby in Tom’s bungalow, which ends Act 1. I’m making the material on Jared Nelson and Elizabeth Gaither, with two other couples also creating the roles: Jon Jordan and Laura Urgelles; and Brooklyn Mack and Jade Payette. Jared’s one of the most able, creative, and attentive partner I’ve worked with and Elizabeth brings such extravagant beauty and dramatic context to each moment, and is game to follow his lead. They’ve partnered together for years and have developed so that the work proceeds swimmingly. I’m hoping to finish the pas de deux today
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

5:30 PM:
WAM!
premiered last night. Whew! What started out as a small project, evolved into a wonderfully complex and layered two-hour journey through episodes in Mozart’s life. The music/dance/theatre piece is filled with comedy and also tender heart-wrenching moments. My hands-down favorite section however, happens to be a naughty one: I choreographed a dance for five men about farting on each other (a first for me!). I grew up in a family of eight brothers and my older brothers developed a sort of scatological lingua-franca. In our family there was a hierarchy of humor and good-natured fraternal jabs, with farts reigning supreme. As adults, we still howl with laughter at sophomoric potty humor. I took some glee in passing this sensibility onto the young men of Studio Company and the audiences were along for the ride! 
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunday, January 18 6:30 pm
Tomorrow we load into the Atlas Theater for a week of tech rehearsals for WAM! (wolfgang amadeus mozart), the new full-evening music/dance/theatre piece about Mozart’s life which Jared Nelson, David Palmer and I are collaborating on. It will feature our Studio Company and musical artists from The In Series. The music has been swell to work with, and Mozart is such a character, leaving so many amazing letters from which we draw naughty inspiration’ that I’ve been in stitches at every rehearsal. Some highlights: 
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Saturday, January 16 11:45 pm 
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thursday January 14 9:30 pm
I’ve been attending site-specific performances since I was in my early 20’s and saw a “happening” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. It was in the eighties and a postmodern choreographer had made a work which was influenced by the “happenings” of the late sixties. The work took place throughout the museum and the audience followed the dancers. It was provocative and engaging and felt so fresh. I have never produced any site specific work however. Tonight that changed. I worked with Company apprentice Andile Ndlovu and sculptor Barbara Liotta on “Icarus Takes Flight”—a solo for Andile in response to a new sculpture by Barbara commissioned by The Phillips Collection. Andile danced in the gallery around the sculpture to a Ravel score performed live by a cellist and violinist from the Washington National Opera. The audience stood on the periphery of the gallery and the effect was haunting. Andile’s expressive back and arms, his laser-like focus and packed a punch, and the music brought a unified sense between all elements.  
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

8:45 PM:
Today was the mother of all rehearsal days.  The artistic team and I worked with about 390 dancers throughout the day putting The Nutcracker on stage for the first time. It was a wild and woolly day indeed. Donna Glover served as MC all day long, making for such a smooth day. The day’s events went something like this: 
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Monday, November 02, 2009

Today was a mostly Mozart day. In January, The Washington Ballet Studio Company is collaborating with DC-based musical organization the InSeries (our third collaboration in three years!) to produce WAM! (wolfgang amadeus mozart), an original full-evening dance/theater work staged by Associate Artistic Director David Palmer, dancer Jared Nelson, InSeries Founder/Director Carla Hubner, and myself. Carla, David and I had a 5-hour retreat immersing ourselves in Mozart’s music and his letters. 
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Friday, October 16, 2009

1:15 AM: I’ve just gotten home after our opening of Don Quixote. Wow, what an amazing night. 
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