Wednesday June 29, 2011 - I went over to Peridance today where Lydia Johnson is having late-morning rep classes (11:30 AM start time) all this week. It was a smallish class which in a way was extra-beneficial to those who were there because they got individual attention in detailing and the opportunity to perform passages of dance as a solo experience. Instilled by the music of Beethoven (his quartet #16, opus 132) the atmosphere in the studio became almost churchlike in it solemnity; some of the gestures evoked images of prayer, or of piety.
The work from which the phrases came is called CODA and was created by Lydia Johnson in 2006. It's a work of hers I've never seen (though I hope I'll get a chance someday). Three of Lydia's Company dancers - Lisa Iannacito McBride, Laura DiOrio and Jessica Sand - took turns coaching the dancers as they learned the passage.
The dancers worked as a group, then in trios and eventually they were dancing the phrase individually. At one point Lydia called on them to dance the passage as a canon, each dancer starting at a different time. This worked out quite beautifully.
I admired dancer Bryan Longchamp's seriousness of intent; a hip-hop dancer, Bryan came to Lydia's class with a desire to experience new modes of movement. It's a bit like learning a foreign language. As the class progressed, the new style began to work its way into Bryan's muscles and his dancing looked increasingly persuasive.
Normally photography is not allowed at Peridance but Lydia obtained special permission and the dancers all agreed to my taking some pictures with my Lumix. I wish they were sharper, but they do catch the nice studio atmosphere and something of the individual expressive qualities of the dancers. Here's a sampling:
Lisa Iannacito McBride leads things off.
Laura DiOrio keeps a watchful eye.
Lauren Jaegar, Ella Bandes
Kana Sano, Lauren Jaeger
Angela Guthmiller and Jessica Sand
There are additional photos from this class session in a Facebook album here.