Snuggled in the middle of our two Fringe performance weekends, the summer apprentice company also rehearsed for and performed at the Mississauga Ribfest! In this post I will share my thoughts and reflections on this experience.
The Ribfest piece, Speakeasy Suite, was 1920’s musical theatre jazz piece choreographed by our Choreographic and Rehearsal Intern, Rohan Dhupar. The choreography was fast-paced, high-energy, a little bit outside of my comfort zone stylistically, but overall very fun! We had about 4 rehearsals to get the 10-minute piece put together, and we performed it 6 times over the course of our 2 days at Ribfest.
The choreography in this piece was very different than anything else we’ve done this summer. Rohan choreographed almost every single beat of the piece, whereas other pieces we’ve worked on had varying amounts of improvisational task work. The movement itself also required a different physicality than what I’m used to embodying in contemporary dance – I feel like a lot of the work I seek out right now is very sensation-based and doesn’t have as much of an emphasis on outward appearance; this work required me to focus more on the specific aesthetic shapes associated with jazz. Especially at the beginning of the process, I didn't feel very comfortable with this style. My discomfort was interesting to grapple with, and I threw myself into the material in order to get over my fear of looking stupid, trying to trick myself into a sense of confidence. As the rehearsal process went on, however, I was able to perform with genuine confidence, and allow myself to relax and have fun. It was an exciting experience to be forced out of my comfort zone; I learned a lot because this kind of work is not something I would have sought out on my own.
Finally, we've finished our run of The Fall at the Toronto Fringe Festival! I'm sad to be finished performing, but am very proud to have been part of this work. Thank you to everyone who came out to support the show! I'll have another post discussing my experience performing the work out soon, so stay tuned!
- Clarke Blair