Getting Ready to Go Gaga – tales of the PM

Getting Ready to Go Gaga – tales of the PM

Doing much of the administrative and production work away from the artistic side of things, made it all the more exciting to head into rehearsal on Saturday. It was then I changed my Managing Director hat for my Production Manager (PM) one. During our NY tour just over a month ago, I spent such a concentrated time in rehearsals, so it was lovely to be back in there seeing the work in progress.

I completely forgot my camera so I cannot offer any visuals, so you will just have to take my word for it. This show is going to be stellar. Sure, I’m biased, but I am also super critical.

First off, we are thrilled to welcome back Alyah Baker to the fold. It’s the first time I’ve seen her live and she adds such a beautiful dynamic to the group. First they worked the ‘Anybody Here’ section of ‘Daughters Untold’, our in-progress piece about gender violence with music by Sweet Honey and the Rock. This piece always makes me tear up. When I first saw it at our concert at Old First Church last November it was a dance for 6, in New York there were 4 dancers and in this incarnation there are 5. Anne confessed that she was never really happy with it. Until now.

Next they worked on some of Gaga. I hadn’t run sound for that piece since the dress rehearsal of  Too Much: a Queer Marathon in February. But between freaking out about getting the sound cues right, I was able to look up from the sound console and reconnect with this outrageous and complex piece. Anne and the dancers have developed it further and I am so excited to see where it goes.

Work on the RAD piece came next. Rather than just sharing the video of our year of site-specific dance around our beautiful city, Anne and the dancers are creating a new piece. At Saturday’s rehearsal, this included a rhythmic section in sixes – stamp, stamp, pause, stamp, stamp, pause with the feet and then very intricate arm gestures followed by an exploration on a bench. First the dancers came up with traveling movements across, over and along the bench and the ones that got the greatest response were learned by the group. While it was exciting to see the dancers picking up the patterns and movements so fast, reality set in when I realized that I now need to find a bench.

If you have any leads on a backless bench, please let me know. If not, hope to see you at the theatre for the start of our 2011 home season!

–Hope Mirlis

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