Saturday, February 6, 2010

Voci Dance - iMove_2.0: iCandy

Sketching Voci Dance rehearsals for iMove_2.0: iCandy, which has its final performance tonight, has been a pure joy. I sit still for so long in the wings, and I am so quiet that I think the dancers forget that I am even there. This suspicion is confirmed when the dancers start joking with one another about their boobs getting in the way during certain dance moves. Genevieve Bernard, Voci's artistic director and choreographer, shouted out to me from where she was sitting, that such discussions are quite common among the dancers. The choreography is athletic and challenging but the dancers fearlessly push themselves time and again until the moves are worked out. This routine being worked out was being co-choreographed by two of the dancers, Leah Marke and Amanda Oost Bradberry. When giving notes, Leigh acted like a Russian taskmaster for a moment; saying, "You must focus!" (pronounced fuckus). Everyone laughed. McClaine Timmerman said to the choreographers, "You must get twice the pay, as dancers and choreographers." Later Genevieve explained to me that everything in this show had to be begged for, borrowed or stolen. This was being thrown together on a showstring with love and faith that it would all fall together come performance day.
The music for this piece was a light enjoyable song with the refrain of love, being sung seven times. One challenging move took the longest time to develop. It involved Kathryn Tosh lying on her back, and Naomi Rhema running towards her crouching down and allowing her pelvis to be supported by Kathryn's feet. She would then use her legs like springs and launch Naomi backwards and up. Other dancers supported Naomi, allowing her to gracefully float back and then land. I didn't try to catch the dancers in moments of fast motion but instead focused on their relaxed poses as they discussed notes and shared ideas. This was a constant collaboration; ideas came from everyone. Critical thinking was relaxed so they could explore and find new territory.
In the spirit of audience interactivity toward which the event is geared, a cell phone photo contest has been initiated in which you could win a date with a Voci dancer. Darn technology is always stealing the thunder from urban sketchers. Tonight is your last chance to see this amazing show and shoot some sweet cell phone photos.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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