Letters from Rehearsal: A Meditation on a Rite of Spring (working title) Day 7

Dear Diary,

And so we close this first chapter of the making of a new work, of finding new inspiration, and new friends. Now, at 6:15 a.m. in my car to the airport, as the sky goes pink with the coming sun, I feel a little pit in my stomach like I just left a lover still sleeping in the hotel. This has been such a week. As much as I want to stay present with work and colleagues, I can’t help but dream a little already of the future of this collaboration.

Thursday (yesterday already) we met later, at 12:30, because we were staying later to do a “showing/open rehearsal” at 7pm. Ellen got us started with Suzuki training. We concentrated “formally/classically” as she said, remembering the transformative nature of training and the importance of putting oneself in an extra-daily situation to highlight what might not be going well – then address it. Barney led VP’s. We worked on a grid of boxes labeled Movement, Shape, Being/Noticing, Speaking. We were clear not to bleed one vocabulary to the next understanding that this is incredibly artificial, but we can work in this way as pure researchers – with strict rules and clear assignments. We eventually dropped the divisions between and added Space to the research.

What is so exciting is that this group can quickly get to levels of complexity & expression while still maintaining the rigor of movement researchers. As I watched the improv develop I felt I was clearly seeing a version of our RITE unfolding – complex, passionate, confounding, muscular, and with a unified mind.

The rehearsal proper was gently guided by Janet & Anne who made it clear that this was a rehearsal day – including the 7pm showing and that they would make that very clear – speaking & explaining between sections: Dance ’til you die, Faux Q&A, Augurs tribal percussion, Augurs of Spring, Abduction, Dance of Death solos (Jennifer, Antonio, later Shayla-Vie), flying Akiko (what’s that called?), Severine Nef (h-El-arious let’s just say), final  faux Q&A. That it?  So moving to see everyone not only “show” but continue to breathe & work & rehearse & explore. It felt so rich. Much to do, yes. Much may not survive in the end, sure. But the DNA as Bill T might say has begun to swell with feeling, intuition: “this minute movement causes the cells to swell with electricity”.

Back at the hotel, wine, snacks, more stories and bonding, packing …

As a Siti member let me just say that you of the BTJ/AZ co cause my “cells to swell with electricity”!  And thank you Janet for your patience, gentle & firm guidance, imagination, & care. That was a lot on your shoulders this past week & a half. This has been a blast. I am already  anxious, excited, full of anticipation for chapter two of this story. Until then some REPLAY to continue and a daily promise to dance ’til I die (not a bad motto). Safe travels BTJ/AZ, and good WDYTYA rehearsals SITI peeps!




Will Bond (Bondo) is a performer and founding member of SITI Company. He has been tweeting the residency experience as well; you can follow him @MKBondo.

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.