September 16, 2004
Rehearsal, take 2
Robert’s second rehearsal was last night. This was the first rehearsal that he actually used to choreograph (the first rehearsal was really an audition to choose the dancers), and by the end, he’d already choreographed over 2 minutes. I’m excited about what he has so far.
I had no idea what to expect from him for the beginning of the piece. It starts extremely slowly, and almost without any pulse, with just rolled marimba and bowed vibraphone. The slow tempo was a small issue for him yesterday, as the music is too slow to count traditionally. I figured he’d just have the dancers barely moving — to match the music — but he went against it. They’re moving quickly in small groups, forming complicated patterns throughout the space, and it works brilliantly. If they’re moving this quickly when the music is barely moving, and the music, by the mid-point, is fast and (hopefully) exhaustingly intense, what on earth does he have coming?
I had an exciting moment in rehearsal. It was one of those moments that I love in the process. The music is really just sustained tones for the first 90 seconds, and then, finally, there’s a traditional minor chord. I pointed it out to Robert — that to me, that isolated chord felt like a “moment” — and on the spot he rethought what he was originally intending for that measure and created an image that perfectly compliments that bar. (The dancers, spread around the stage, all move to the center and for a second, they look like a church choir.) It’s hard to explain, but it was amazing. All I did was say, “I like this measure, ’cause the music changes a tiny bit here, and it’s kinda pretty,” and Robert visualized something subtle but beautiful.
I’m lucky to work with him.