Notes from a Voices from the Glade choreographer
Suite Violette/Sweet Violet grew out of different moments and observations from my journey into parenthood, but many of the insights apply to life in general:
- Things can be hard to endure but they will end
- Intense sweetness is fleeting and thus the more to be treasured
- Life is more physical than you expect
- Speaking and listening are skills that take a lot of practice.
In the first year of my daughter's life, I was nursing at all hours, sleep-deprived, and deeply enamored with her. The first sections of this dance presented themselves, almost fully formed, during those dark-of-night sessions in the rocker and early-morning awakenings-by-baby-kicks.
Developing the work
Some of the material is based on the last class combination I taught while pregnant. Later sections grew out of the physical experiences my husband and I had as parents, including playtime, sneaking out of the room after convincing her to sleep, watching her experiment with movement, and listening to her acquire speech and language.
Different parts of this work came to be in different ways. Sometimes I told the dancers exactly what to do and how to do it. Other times, I came in with a list of ideas or inspirations and worked with the dancers to assemble a phrase. Dancers also created their own versions of phrases or combinations of phrases. One chapter is an improvisation. The last chapter is built entirely from movement created by dancers based on prompts I brought to rehearsal.
The chapter on language and communication, "Speak," has been fascinating to work with because each time it has been performed, it's had a different cast, different number of dancers, and changes in the music and staging. For these performances, we'll be collaborating with rogue collective, who will improvise music and define the stage space for the dancers. I'm so excited to see how this version of the piece will highlight different motifs and themes!