Our first week of New York City rehearsals for Julia Pond’s the little difference words make/song of the sibyl has flown by. What serendipity to be staying at Looking Through Trees’ composer Chris Chalfant’s Bay Ridge apartment while we are rehearsing in Park Slope. This has been my first time working at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), but it has been a convenient and easy commute on the R train and such a pleasure to spend my first few days in the city in Brooklyn. I always have to have a diner meal when I come to New York, and I ate a great breakfast of eggs, potatoes and toast before our first rehearsal.
My role in this piece is twofold—I’m both dancing and acting as the Oracle. This is the first time in several years that I have worked with spoken text, and the poetic monologues are evocative and rich in imagery. I love exploring the resonance of sound and finding ways to deliver strong language in an organic and believable way. These poems are haunting, and I’m enjoying permeating the boundary between the poetic, verbal landscape and the nonverbal, movement realm.
Julia is setting this piece on a new group of American dancers, including our Duncan colleague Elizabeth Disharoon, who also has choreographed a new suite of dances that will open the show. This week we have sketched through some sections that will be choreographically developed in the coming days, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all takes shape. We added the musicians on Saturday, and I’m once again grateful to be dancing in dialogue with live music. I’m also speaking a bit in dialogue with the soprano’s ethereal vocalization of a 13th Century chant about the sibyls, and the viola da gamba accompaniment completes the soundscape.