by Nikki Sao Pedro Welch
|photo by Michelle Boule|
I was beyond excited when Karen Krolak asked me to be one of the choreographers for the 24-hour Choreofest hosted by Luminarium Dance Company! I was even more thrilled when she told me I would be co-choreographing with Jason Ries! This particular festival was very different from any show I have been a part of.
For 24 hours we;
-were locked in the Dance Complex in Cambridge,
-were only allowed to bring one suitcase filled with potential props, costume pieces, and accompaniment, shower items, and anything else we felt we needed
-had to create a piece from a concept that was picked out of a hat,
-had to come up with new material, costumes, and music
-only had tech in the actual performance space for ten minutes!
- had to perform 2 SHOWS the next day
It was and intense, inspiring, and such a positive experience!!
Other companies that were involved included, The People Movers, 1,000 Virtues Dance, Synthesis Aesthetics Project, and Luminarium, amongst other dancers/choreographers.
At the start of the Choreofest, we all arrived around 7:30PM to discuss "house keeping," meaning, check in times, tech times, and most importantly, picking our concept. The artistic directors of Luminarium Dance asked that we add to the concept list already filled with suggestions from Facebook fans. Jason, Sarah, and I took advantage of this and added many interesting and "Monkeyhouse-esk" ideas. When it was time to choose, others pulled, "addition," "secret." "imperfection," and "ordinary." When it was our (Monkeyhouse) turn to pull a concept we got none other than, "GIANT SQUID EYE." Jason, Sarah Feinberg (dancer), and I all looked at each other puzzled at first but then we were eager to take on the challenge. Shortly after concepts were picked, all companies were assigned to their work space and magic began...
Throughout the night we improvised and did our typical Monkeyhouse musings, watched others in their creative processes, gathered factual information about the Giant Squid Eye from valid resources (Wikipedia :) ), played twister at 4:00AM, and we were able to create a 7-minute piece in 7 hours. Our piece included text, lights attached to our body, partnering, and many other components. I can honestly say that the actual process of creating did not have many obstacles and Jason, Sarah, and I all contributed to make the piece come to life. The only taxing part of the experience was creating and performing on 1 hour of sleep. However, I was extremely proud of everyone involved for creating such great work and putting on a great show!
If Monkeyhouse had the opportunity to take part in the Choreofest next year, I would definitely do it again!