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.
The scope of the piece is epic although its execution will be intimate. Essentially it will be the journey of his life: his musical prodigy as a child, his wild teen years filled with drinking, skirt-chasing, and flatulence (in fact we’re staging a section using a letter he wrote referring to his debauchery including the passing gas. We are referring to this section as Eine Kleine Fartmusik), meeting Constanze and her sister (with whom he was first smitten), Salieri, the loss of his Mother and then his Father, the creation of the great operas, etc. It’s quite dizzying to imagine the amazing outpouring of creativity in 35 short years. We accomplished a lot yesterday—agreeing on most of the music and the essential narrative arc. On Thursday Jared, David and I will divvy-up the work and assign sections to choreograph. WAM! will begin with a prologue—an extended solo of Studio Company member Jong Suk Park as Wolfgang set to Mozart’s intimate variations on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star—which I will choreograph. I’m also hoping to stage the farting dance—as a guy who grew up in a family with 8 brothers, I am well-versed in potty humor. There will be really glorious bits of music for David and Jared to sink their teeth into as well. The piece will be performed by 10 dancers, six singers and two pianists, and rehearsals begin next week. So let the flatulence begin!
These rehearsals come at the tail end of whopping rehearsal period for Don Q and in the middle of the staging of Twyla’s Push Comes to Shove which goes up in May, the creation of some sections of The Great Gatsby which goes up in February, and intense Nutcracker rehearsals. Talk about multi-tasking! We open January 23 at the Atlas Theater. Click here for info and tickets.