Thursday, December 12, 2013
I bumped into Becky Lane in the Full Sail parking lot and she told me about a show she is working on called Words We Wear. Kevin Barber and Aradhana Tiwari are co-directing and Holly Harris is in charge of choreography. Becky invited me to a rehearsal at Movement Arts Studios.
Words We Wear is a 60 minute original performance piece that includes dance, acting, and mixed media. There is an ensemble of 20 female performers. The show itself is relatively secular. It is about exchanging negative words for more positive words, but the final call to action is faith based. An organization called Epic Vita contracted Becky and the rest of the creative team and heavily influenced the content of this show. They focus on Christian Women's Ministry.
At the rehearsal, blue tape marked a grid on the floor. The female cast were walking aggressively as if on the streets of a big city. They wove together in a tight knit pattern. If a performer got in the way then the dancer would stop, turn at a right angle and move in another direction. At one point rows of dancers had to move past one another and the squeeze was so tight they bumped shoulders. A fraction of an inch adjusted the movement and the bumping stopped.
The next sequence rehearsed involved movements related to exercise. They wanted to have a quick beat to the movements and Becky demonstrated an accelerated yoga routine where she did sun salutations and downward facing dog to a quick eight beat. The effect was both funny and awe inspiring. Aradhana chimed in, "These moves will be simplified, you can all thank me later." Everyone applauded Becky's performance, thankful they wouldn't have to repeat it.
As I was finishing my sketch, the women rehearsed a routine involving the drudgery of sorting laundry. The baskets of clothes became part of a delicate angst filled dance. Performers experimented and improvised slowly allowing the routine to find it's own form. This is what I love about sketching rehearsals, there is an open sense of childlike play that brings a piece to life.
Aradhana explained that the show was built around a quote from Maya Angelou. Aradhana explained that certain events in her own life have made the shows theme particularly relevant at this time in her life. Maya said, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, "“Someday we will be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. I think they get on the walls, they get in your wallpaper, they get in your rugs, in your upholstery, in your clothes and finally into you.”
The show will be playing at the Goldman Theatre in the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL).
Saturday, December 14th at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sunday, December 15th at 8:00 PM.
You can purchase tickets on the EpicVita website.