Monday, March 31, 2008

The Art of the Apprentice

Just sent out my teacher's monthly e-newsletter and here is my "Taylor's Tales" column of the month...
FYI- I'm a huge dork. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Taylor's Tales April 2008
The Art of the Apprentice: Rebecca Kelly Ballet

Rebecca Kelly Ballet, a small 20+ year-old company based in SoHo, will present its New York Season at the end of this month (see performance corner this issue) just blocks away from our classes at Ailey, at the Gerald Lynch Theater on 58th & 10th avenue. A choreographer with strong themes and a troupe of diverse, exceptional dancers, Rebecca has a remarkable program planned – one that I have had the honor of understudying for the past month or so.

From the day I auditioned I knew that working with this company would be different from my past experiences. Rather than focusing on the nitty-gritty technical details of dancing, her work is more concerned with expressing emotion and ideas through movement. Since January I've had the opportunity to get a taste of several of her ballets, with themes reflecting everything from environmental issues to the Iraq War. But the work I'm most involved with now is a world premiere titled, "Writing in Water."

A metaphor for the ephemeral nature of dance, the piece features 5 dancers intertwining in various combinations and phrases to music from Beethoven's "Grosse Fugue." The concept motivating the ballet is that a performance is a moment in time you can never get back. Like trying to write in water, it is fleeting, transient, and gone almost quicker than it came.
That feeling when you surface into the spotlight, out of the shadows of the darkness drowning you and into a state where no thought occurs but being alive – it can never be felt the same again. And if someone missed seeing you dance, that moment can never be returned. You are back in the endless stream of dancers in New York City wading desperately through to reach your dreams, resisting the tide of failure and rarely coming up for air.

Such a theme makes me appreciate the chances I have (had) to do what I love. Ironically, I was called in to be an understudy after one of the original cast members discovered a stress fracture in her foot. Sometimes I think we take for granted what a gift dancing is – to be free with movement, to express unconditionally, to challenge and improve daily, to possess the physical ability to embody passion.

I stand at the back of these rehearsals as the mere apprentice marveling at the beauty behind the steps. Every movement has a reason, and every reason goes back to the one theme that gets me out of bed every morning: the love of dance.

I hope you will make time to see their performances April 24-26 and consider your own appreciation for movement and for life.
The Gerald Lynch Theater of John Jay College is located at 899 10th Avenue at 58th St, NYC. April 24-26 Thursday at 7:30pm, & Friday and Saturday, at 8pm. For tickets call Ticket Central: 212-279-4200. (416 W 42nd St., 12-8pm) or click here. Student & Senior discounts are available.

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