This year I decided we could afford a night to just move and have some fun… to get to know each other; and to allow me to simply watch a large portion of my cast dancing. So I called all the Gondoliers and all the Contadine for an informal dance class. We started off with a brief warm-up; did some simple walking-in-rhythm exercises; and learned some fundamental steps. Then I taught four 8-beat dance combinations in sequence. Once they’d learned one sequence we moved on to the next. And then we put them all together and did the phrase over and over in rotations of small groups of dancers traveling across the floor. We stopped from time to time for clarification or for expansion of the movement; and then went right back into repetitions of the phrase.
It was fun. It wasn’t about telling the story, nor hitting the notes, nor portraying the character. It was just about bodies moving in space. I learned a bit about the cast; I’m guessing they learned a bit about each other; and I’m certain they learned a bit about me. Energy was high and attitudes were positive. I think this is a great place from which to move forward into the realm of telling stories, hitting notes, and portraying characters.