Letters from Rehearsal: A Meditation on a Rite of Spring (working title) Day 2

Dear all,

I cannot believe that yesterday was only the day 2.

I feel like we, A Meditation on the Rite of Spring team has been working together longer than that.

Friday, April, 27, 2012
It was very nice weather. Our day was full and intense.

10:30am  21 people left to the venue at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  10 minute bus ride.

11:00am  We began the reh with 90 minute of BTJ technique class.  Bill T.’s associate artistic director, Janet Wong lead it.  From on the floor, to standing, jumping, spinning…  graceful movements like water.  I occasionally got disoriented & frustrated, but, oh, it was still such a joy.  Watching Bill T. people dancing was inspiring.  Beautiful & strong…  Janet said at one point of movements “feel good about it” smiling.  Thank you, Janet!  Looking forward to leaning more.

We continued to work ♪Augurs section with 7 gestures. Each of us made 7 gesture sequence & shared it with a partner as Barney wrote before. Under Janet’s guidance, it’s getting so complicated today. Try to memorize those of irregular counts (9, 2, 6, 3, 4, 5, 3…and so on), putting gestures at certain moments, adding individual floor pattern…

My brain almost exploded.

Then, went to the next land of “dance to death”. It goes like this (by Anne): Dance solo until you feel that you can’t continue any more or you can’t maintain your form any more. Come to the downstage center & answer Anne’s questions facing the video camera; “What do you feel now?” “why did you stop?” “How was it?”  etc… Talli, Jenna & Ellen did it.  Oh, my…  I couldn’t explain what I felt just watching & hearing them.  My guts responded hard.  What does it mean “dance to death” really?  I think it’s personal what to think about it and I am scared.

We spent for a while with Severine Neff, the musicologist from the UNC.  Very helpful. She answered Anne’s question about the music accompanied our rehearsal pianist, Tim.

The key of Rite of Spring is “circling”.

Darron gave us a lecture about the music. Well, he introduced us many versions of ROS recording. Orchestra with Stravinsky, with Bernstein, R&R version, punk version, Jazz version, piano 2 hands, piano 4 hands… Cool.  Thank you, D.

(well…  I heard that score in my dream last night.)

6:00pm finished rehearsal. There was a reception with UNC faculty afterwards.  There were about 40 people including us.  Very nice.

↓ Carolina Performing Arts’ gorgeous brochure “33 minutes that changed the world”

Here we go!  The day 3!!



Akiko Aizawa is an actor with SITI Company. She has been a member of the company since 1997, after seven years as a member of the Suzuki Company of Toga. 

This is a series of diaries from members of SITI Company and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company as they dig into their new Rite of Spring collaboration. They are currently in residency at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. To view all entries, click here.