Tuesday, September 10, 2013
On August 18th, I went to the Center for Contemporary Dance off Aloma Avenue in Winter Park to sketch a Mary Love Dance Projects rehearsal leading up to "The Shift, Unity in Motion". For that particular show, she is doing some solo works, so there were only one or two dancers at rehearsals. This dance company has six company dancers and two apprentices.
Mary Love Dance Projects will be doing three dances in The Shift, all are solos and distinctly different in their tone and emotion. Mary Love choreographed two dances, but at this rehearsal she was learning "Young and Beautiful" choreographed by Jennia Shanley. Jennia greeted me at the front desk when I arrived at the dance studio.
The two dancers warmed up and stretched for a bit and then Jennia set up her laptop on a chair in the corner of the dance studio. She played a video of the "Young and Beautiful" dance routine which was about three minutes in length. The goal for this rehearsal was for Mary to learn the entire minute routine. Jennia had improvised sections of the routine so she had to refresh her memory using the video periodically.
The music for this piece was by Lana Del Ray. Mary Love began in the chair admiring herself with a hand mirror and then the dance spiraled outwards like a nautilus shell. Every moment seemed physically demanding yet graceful. When Jennia stopped to go over a new section, Mary had a moment to regroup and catch her breath. I was astonished at how fast Mary retained the physical memory of each and every movement. Lana sang "Will you still love me when I'm not young and beautiful" with her sultry voice as Mary moved her arms in graceful arcs. Though just a rehearsal, moments gave me chills.
By the end of the rehearsal, Mary was spent, lying on her back to catch her breath. She had learned the entire routine and will continue to rehearse this piece at least once a week if not more until the show. Mark Your Calendar! "The Shift, Unity in Motion" will feature six local dance companies on September 13th and 14th in the Goldman Theater in the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E. Rollins Street, Orlando FL) at 8pm. Tickets at the door are $20, and $14 for students and seniors.