transitions . august / by james gnam

Written by Rachel Silver
 

Today was fun. There were carefree moments: lots of rubbing Bevin’s pregnant belly, making jokes, and laughing together. It feels good to have a complete cast now that Lexi has joined us. Slowly roles are getting assigned in certain sections. Other members of the group (other than Vanessa and James and Bevon) are beginning to learn the videography cues and sound cues.

“Ifolk” in a circle does not get less dizzying the more we rehearse it, unfortunately. It’s a feeling you have to embrace, like the butterflies in your stomach when you are on a roller coaster. With the lights and the music, bass pumping in my chest, I always feel as though I might be sick, or fall over. Even thinking about it, the vertigo fills my body.

We worked out some important transitions today. Our "tiny" solo dance progresses into duets, which use mass and imagination to move around the space. As we dance in pairs, we become aware of the landscape that the group is creating, and respond to each other to produce asymmetry, hills, corners, and clumps. After a time, this dance stops abruptly when we each check in with our phones, pulling them out of various stashed locations on our person. This transition is comical from the inside, because it feels like a dismissal of your dancing partner (“This has been fun, but now it’s time to check my emails”).

We also learn that we need to be comfortable with different proximities from our partner, because there will be audience members all through the space when we perform. It is thrilling and also nerve-wracking to not be able to anticipate the conditions of the performance, and to have no control over what the audience will do. 

Later in the day we don the colourful video-game costumes hanging around in the space. The costumes, I must say, certainly “leveled up” our rehearsal (James' words). The atmosphere became even more fantastical and delightfully wacky. At one point James was giving us instructions but was completely unable to focus. He just burst into laughter and told us how awesome we looked.

We leave singing “Free Bird” which it feels has become the anthem of our entire show.