Trisha Brown Repertoire, Dairakudakan & "Hypothetical Stream"

June 25, 2008

This week in my Trisha Brown Repertoire class, we executed learning a phrase forward and backwards. Each detail, every weight transfer and all directions matched— like human origami, we folded the space with our bodies practicing the study of negotiating time, space, shape and energy—again both forward and backwards. Perhaps these wise words of Abbey Yager can help you understand: “Sololos is one of the purest expressions of Trisha Brown’s love affair with choreographic structure. Created in 1976, it is a study of causality – cause and effect, as well as logical processes, properties, variables and facts in which dancers respond to instructions called to them from a dancer offstage. The piece begins in simple unison, quickly unravels into visual complexity, and then re-ravels itself back to its beginning prompted by instructions given by the caller.” I was lucky enough to be chosen as the first caller; the on-the-spot choreographer. It was very difficult and would be incredibly difficult for someone who does not understand the movement and what is happening inside the world that is spontaneously created through the mind of the caller. Pathways and transformations and aesthetic are all challenged by simple words like “reverse” “branch” and “spill,” all of which send the dancers into their own worlds where psychology, dance and function meet. It was at the last second that I was able to get the dancers to come into unison and end together.

Working with Dairakudakan has been going swell! The choreographer came on Monday and we got to finally put all of our exercises to use and see what he would do with them choreographically. The name if his piece is called “the secrets of mankind,” and it’s danced in five sections. The entire piece will be 45-50 minutes long.  With a title like that, the rest of the dancers and I are ecstatic at what will come. One of the most interesting things is that the Japanese choreographer is taking a lot of imagery and ideas from a western perspective, and translating it to but represented by possession, death and other dramas of the Butoh practice. I will boast a little and say that the choreographer was so pleased with how much we learn that he is considering dancing the piece with us!

After a long a stressful day of dancing on Tuesday, I went to an audition for a project by William Forsythe. We had to perform a one-minute solo or improvise. Out of over 100 students, 11 were chosen. I was one of them! The project is one that Forsythe designed for Daniel Larrieu called “Hypothetical Stream” where the dancers have to decipher a number of sketches from Tiepolo, which Forsythe drew a series of vectors (or lines of direction). By the end of the project, we will have developed a dance out of these images. Stay Tuned!