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Septime's Blog

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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Friday, October 16, 2009

11:55 PM: Tonight the second cast of Don Quixote debuted their roles and proved to be in fine form. Maki Onuki and newcomer Brooklyn Mack did a fine job with the fiery roles of Kitri and Basilio and the whole cast rose to the occasion. 
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

7:37 AM:
Don Quixote really soared last night. Last night was the preview performance and the whole cast was really on. Jonathan Jordan and guest Viengsay Valdes were electrifying. Jon’s natural smoothness, virtuosic fireworks, and intrinsically elegant style with Viengsay’s astonishing balances, silken turns, and passionate Cuban style were met by a standing ovation which lasted quite a long time. The whole cast did a bang-up job considering they had knocked it our of the ball park at the dress rehearsal a couple of hours earlier. Some highlights: 
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

11 PM: I just got home from Tech rehearsal—things went well all things considered. 
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