Rehearsing with Mariah

by karen Krolak

There's a Bar Mitzvah kicking into high gear across the hall and in an odd way it fits the mood of today's rehearsal. Like many young adolescents, Monkeyhouse is opening to new influences and looking to outside voices to guide us through the inevitable awkwardness of our second decade. In front of me, Mariah Steele is rapidly sketching out movement sequences involving Caitlin Meehan, Courtney Wagner, and Sarah Feinberg. It feels similar to watching an episode of Iron Chef. Although I am very familiar with all of her ingredients, I mean dancers, I am regularly surprised by how her she mixes them together. Her improvisations are similar to ones we have used a thousand times but they tease unexpected textures and flavors out of this ensemble. I love to watch her intuit her way from one idea to another.

My gut knew that Mariah would be a good fit for us but I could sense some hesitation and giddy edginess in all of us during her first Musing. She began by asking us to write about something. I can not recall anything I scribbled, but it reminded me of building pieces with Baubo Performance Project in Chicago. By the time I filled the page,

Sorry, I just got distracted - as Caitlin started coaxing Sarah and Courtney into action, the trees outside the window started swaying in unison. Caitlin really appeared to have supernatural powers for a second. (I am actually dancing in this section but Sarah Friswell, who is also learning my part, is filling in this time.)

Speaking of Ms Friswell, she just said "Imagine if I were wearing a water balloon jumpsuit, how would you jump up on me?" That must be my cue to turn my focus back to moving.

I am so eager to hear how people respond to this piece in progress at the SKORT tonight. Feel free to join us from 7-9 at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.

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