We are well underway creating and developing scenes and composing music in preparation for the full ensemble rehearsals in the quarry in August. There are 24 dancers, 6 musicians and the infamous “tall, dignified couple”. For the work I create, each performer needs a deep and abiding sense of self, a responsibility to others and to the setting in which we work. To foster those qualities, the entire group gathers once a month at the Contemporary Dance studio in Montpelier for a 3-hour workshop in building ensemble. We focus half our time on the skills required to move as one body, no leader, blending and supporting the group choice. Then we delve into the exercise Being Seen, which is all about honesty and courage. We end our time rehearsing the full ensemble SUITCASE scene.
Everyone in the ensemble is paid for their time and skills. This is my commitment to bringing attention to the importance of artists and their contribution to our culture. Each performer is paid $20/hr which translates to $1500/ person for this year. Each collaborating artist (choreographic partner, film director, costume & set designer, composer, historian) is paid on average $4,000 for the year. Your donation this month will go towards supporting their work. Here is the link. All donations are important and bring this unique project that much closer to a successful culmination.
In that vein, let me introduce one of the ensemble: Willow Wonder and I have worked together since 2011 when she joined the Dear Pina ensemble. She lives in Barre Town with her family and teaches Pilates and movement classes in Central Vermont. She is an excellent improviser, dance maker and skilled at realizing the visions of other choreographers, yours truly included. She earned her BFA in modern dance performance from SUNY Purchase in 1998. You can see her in the clips from Dear Pina, and Threads and Thresholds, previous Quarry Project newsletters and in the photo above from 2015’s performance at the Kent Museum. I am honored to be working with Willow again.