Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hot Pavement, Recording Session, and Panelists...Oh My!

We're moving quickly now.  This last week, Meena and I have been choreographing and rehearsing our main dance scene which will take place on the boardwalk and in the rock and palm garden.
Usually, during the hot, daytime hours, we try to find some cool indoor space to work out the movements.  You might find us rehearsing in the Garden Terrace, or up in the Sand and Sea room, and then in the evening, as the sun sets and the crowds disperse, we try out our movements in the actual space.  It is challenging to dance barefoot on the cement, and we have to be careful of not practicing a move over and over on a floor surface that has no "spring" to it.  Although in India, where I trained in a form called "Kathak", for several months in 1996, there are no sprung floors.  It's very rare that you find that kind of comfort in India, and in many other countries where the resources for the arts are even less than what we complain about here in the U.S.!  After one week of pounding and slapping on the hard floor for 6 hours a day, my feet swelled up to the size of grapefruits!  That won't happen here at the Annenberg Community Beach House,  but still it's a challenge.  Add to that the grittiness of the sand on the boardwalk, and hot pavement, and it's hard not to grimace!  Still, we love what we do, and I am very excited about this piece and about working WITH the challenges in the environment.

This week I hired a costume designer, which is very exciting!  Her name is Tiffany Maxwell, and I get a great feeling about her.  Her work is edgy with very interesting detail.  Of course, she is going to work with our theme and also with our movement and the actual environment that we're in (including a dance that happens in the Splash Pad), so it's something totally new for her and a welcomed challenge!

A couple days ago, we had a great recording session with the composer for the work - Ellen Reid.  I worked with her once before on a multi-media piece for the Artwallah Festival at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica.  She's great to work with.  The recording session took place at my house, and out of the session, a title for the work emerged!!  "I Am You".
I don't want to give away too much about the piece, but we had a good laugh at my various interpretations of a New-Age Motivational Speaker.  Ahhh...I love my job.  I love that I get to make up things in my head and then put them out in the world.  I just think that's the coolest thing ever.  It's like, I never had to grow up!  I just get to keep imagining things.

Anyway, this Tuesday August 21st is my 2nd Public Workshop/Event at the Beach House and I am curating a fantastic panel of artists to discuss, ruminate and answer questions on the topic "The Art of Being An Artist".  I'm so thrilled to bring together this diverse cross-section of directors, choreographers, animators, educators, dancers, composers.  The list includes:  Shyamala Moorty, Anaitt√© Vaccaro, Jonathan Beard, Jones Welsh, Juliette Carrillo and Adnan Hussain.

Come on out Tuesday August 21st at 6:30pm for juicy discussions, participatory exercises led by the panelists and some refreshments after.  The sun will be setting, and it will be divine.

See you at the beach!

Always,
Sheetal

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