A Month (or two) of Musings

by Courtney Wagner

Did you know that my debut with Monkeyhouse was through a musing?!

I received the following information
about them from Karen back in 2009:
"I host a series of informal workshops, dubbed Musings, as a way of playing with choreographic ideas. These sessions are by invitation only and are free of charge. They have been a great way for dancers to get a sense of my work process and I would love to have you join us if you are interested."

That June I danced arou
nd CMAC with Nikki and Caitlin and some water toys for Boomtown, and then up and down a hill to Wright's Tower for Dance in the Fells in October. What a wonderful way indeed to get a sense of Karen, her work and Monkeyhouse. 18 months later I'm still happily spending my Saturdays musing, although now with yoga balls, blindfolds or a very long pair of pants.

Did you know of the reported 10 new pieces(!) being built for Against the Odds 2 (mark your calenders for October 2012!), about a third of them began in musings?!

As previously mentioned, we have lots of new props in store. Some of these pieces even began last spring during Against the Odds 1 after musings with our guest artists (thank you Eva Dean for introducing us to swan dives and Friday nights with the balls and Richer Reddick for helping us with our aggressive side).

In fact, many of Monkeyhouse's works have started in musings, and this has been a great way to determine what will or won't work for a piece and begin to set choreography from improv. Nicole used a musing to help her start rebuilding Subluxation and that has since become Caitlin's audience appreciated Noumenon.

They have also been a great way to incorporate new dancers, like Sarah Fineberg a
nd Sarah Friswell, as well as bring back some dancers, like Julia Marx. It allows us the dedicated time to turn ideas into actual movement, the space to see it in (much better than our own imaginations or maybe a tiny living room floor), and the encouragement and commentary of fellow Monkeyhouse members. Musing time can take a variety of forms, but I always have fun with it and feel productive. I look forward to maybe exploring some of my own choreographic ideas during them. Musings are an important element in the Monkeyhouse process and in expanding and building new repertoire.

Sound like a good idea?

Great! Now through the Yearly Campaign Program YOU can help support them! As part of fundraising for our super Season 11, you have the option to support a certain element of Monkeyhouse. This can be infrastructure or company members or outside projects. For a small donation that will automatically recur each month, you can help us keep some of our most important programs, like musings, going!

For a nominal $10/month (or roughly 2 Starbuck's lattes, less than 1 m
anuicure, or about 1 movie ticket) you will help us continue to develop new ideas and work with new dancers. Musings take place before rehearsals at Springstep, which allows us a vast landscape of dancing and movement possibilities (inside and out) from stages to stairwells to benches and bike racks. A donation will cover 2 months work of musings and who knows how much creative possibility!

Click HERE to be directed to our website for further information about how to donate as well as what other areas of Monkeyhouse are sponsorable. And keep an eye out for more blog posts about other aspects of the organization!

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