We do not create dance in a vacuum, a reflection on open rehearsals

By Sara Nye, Dancer

“It can be to easy to overlook the incredible investment of ideas, time, attention,
creativity, and revision that goes into creating something new, especially when
we’re watching a performance as an audience member. With RealLivePeople(in)
Motion’s current work-in-progress, not only did a number of us have the opportunity
to contribute our stories to the foundation of this work, but Gina invited us to come
to a rehearsal—to observe and participate. I loved the way Gina and the dancers
included us in movement, exploration, and feedback. Watching the dancers
communicate the daily work lives that we had communicated through our spoken
and written words with their bodies provided a glimpse into the unfolding evolution
of a work in progress. Participating in RLPiM’s rehearsal has also made me more
conscious of how we use our whole selves in our work—bodies as well as minds.”

-Beth, Interviewee

Beth and Alya have jobs. They have jobs that are different from ours. They have
jobs that are different from each other’s. Beth works in career services at Penn. Alya
is a freelance photographer/stylist. Our director Gina interviewed Beth and Alya
about their jobs for our upcoming project, and then they came to one of our open
rehearsals. And from this separateness came harmony.

It was so energizing for me to read Beth’s response to being in an open rehearsal of
ours, because it confirmed something I’ve been pondering – when I share something
of myself with you, it affects you. You think about it after the fact. It does not exist in
a vacuum.

I have always been fascinated by the work that people do. I am obsessed with how
people make money, how they make it work, and what those choices do to their daily
lives. But I also want to know if other people ever wonder what I do and how I do
it. I think many of us wonder whether what we do matters. Now I have confirmation
from Beth that when she came to our place of work, participated, and observed,
she left with neurons firing. She wondered about our work afterwards. She thought
about the time it takes to explore a movement idea, change the rules, and try again.
And I love that she is now thinking about how her body works while at work. It’s true
– no matter what a job is, it requires movement of the entire being, body and mind
working in tandem.

Beth and Alya were such giving participants in rehearsal. Their movement
contributions as well as their feedback were honest, and I felt them becoming
invested in the progress we were making that day. And they should feel invested. In
this project, we dancers and our ideas do not exist in a vacuum. We have reached
out into the community, and now the community is reaching back.

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Rehearsal Update: The Jobs Project

By Gina Hoch-Stall, Choreographer

Rehearsing can be such a private experience. It is possible to get together at a set time and location, warm-up and make dances without ever connecting to the outside world and I don’t like it. I would rather have interaction with the people we hope will be coming to our shows and watching the work down-the-line; almost like dance company market-research.

With that in mind we’ve been having open rehearsals for our new evening-length work, “The Jobs Project” and we’ve gotten some excellent feedback–and movement ideas. We’ve also made some brand new material that I’d like to share with those of you who couldn’t stop by and see it in person.

Disclaimer: Molly and David will want me to tell you that this is REHEARSAL FOOTAGE which means that it is a work-in-progress and not all clean, polished and sparkly yet.

Meet David! He has good taste in music.

As a company we spend endless hours rehearsing, giggling and sharing our
lives and we wanted to share a bit of ourselves with you. Rather than posting
tired bios with stats and degrees, each company member created questions for another.

Interviewer: Hedy Wyland (Dancer)

Interviewee: David Konyk (Dancer)

Describe your perfect day

I would wake up clear of mind, energized and be filled with purpose.  The sky would be sunny and blue.  Temperature in the low 70’s with a mild breeze softly blowing.  I would not have any worries this day and flow from place to place doing the things I wanted to do easily and without conflict.  I would be able to make all the people I interacted with laugh or at lease smile.  Someone would tell me I look handsome.  Someone else would tell me that I am really good at what I do.  I would receive a letter from and old friend and a very cute girl I never met before would give me a wink.  I would be happy to arrive wherever I went and be content wherever I was. I would be reminded often throughout the day of how lucky I am and how wonderful it is to be alive in this world.  I would focus out and find beauty in everything I saw. At night, sleep would be there when I wanted it and I would dream beautifully and restfully.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to be putting into practice the lessons I am learning now.  I hope to have found love or a better definition of what it is.  I hope to be closer to the deaf community and have a greater understanding of their language and culture and be interpreting.  I see having many new experiences that I cannot even imagine having now.  I see myself being surprised by where my road has lead me.  Sadly, I do not see my cat being with me five years from now, and that makes me very sad. I see myself having a car. I see myself traveling very far. I see myself furthering and expanding my art making practice. I see myself still not ever being completely satisfied, and that is a good thing.

What three songs sum up your life?

Unsatisfied” by The Replacements

Alter Ego” by Tame Impala

Being Bad Feels Pretty Good” by Does It Offend You, Yeah?