Okay—last week was busy! First of all, congrats to my middle school one act play performers, who took second place at the PSIA one act play competition, and are now headed for the state contest in Fort Worth in May. Since September, I’ve been coaching the five seventh-grade girls in David Campton’s Some of My Best Friends Are Smiths, a great play exploring the issue of discrimination and casting it in an absurd context. These girls worked hard and developed a strong ensemble, and I was beyond proud of their performance on Saturday.
In addition to daily one act play rehearsals, last week I began collaboration on another project with Houston’s Divergence Vocal Theater—a new opera Klytemnestra. In preparation for this project, we have been researching past productions that tell the story of Aeschylus’ Oresteia, including Martha Graham’s Clytemnestra.
|Klytemnestra rehearsal, February 2011|
An impulse, a reason to move, to react, to respond is the common denominator of theatre and dance expression. I fell in love with Duncan when I realized that she shared the same understanding of intention in performance articulated by Constantine Stanislavsky— both arts teach us self-observation. We learn to understand our own unconscious impulses, and, perhaps, to interrupt those impulses. To make choices based on our self-understanding— and through those choices, to begin to craft, to live, life as art. That is the ultimate lesson I hope to convey to both my dance and theater students. And that is also the lesson I seek to explore through my current collaborative and creative processes.