Tonight represents a first for me…. I choreographed a large section of the show without listening to the music!
I normally sit with a recording and listen to it over and over again as I create choreography. I listen and visualize; and then go back to the score to make notations.
But I didn’t have that luxury for the last section of the Act I Finale. I was forced into situations in which I had my score, but not my recording.
To be fair, I had listened to this section of music a few times before. So I had a bit of musical memory. But I had no in-the-moment aural back-up as I created the staging. And I was a little nervous.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t really read music. But I can tell a quarter note from a half note, I notice when one note is higher or lower than another, and I can usually discern when the tempo changes.
So I sat with the score, imagined the music to the best of my ability, and did my job. And my job is to Tell The Story.
And gosh darn-it, it worked! I taught it, they did it, and it worked!!
The Story Was Told. And entertainingly to boot!
A lot happens in the Act I Finale. A faked-from-the-get-go “election” takes place. Some folks are happy and some are not. All seems well until a technicality is uncovered. Politics become personal. Then one person becomes extremely unhappy. There’s a moment of general sadness. And then everyone decides to be self-centered and happy anyway — fantasizing about the the havoc they’ll create, the fun they’ll have, and the clothes they’ll wear when they take control of the state.
The “self-centered and happy anyway” section is what we staged tonight.
It includes The Jinks Jive (repeated when appropriate), “I Dream of Jeannie,” The Twist, Side Stepping with Hand Flapping, “Ooooooooo,” Reverse-A-Roo, Switching Places, Stealing the Front Line, Side Stepping without Hand Flapping, “Jane Fonda,” Lateral Bobble, and Spiral Ad Nauseum.
And with that Act I is officially staged.