It is interesting to observe how this process goes. I postponed making a solo for such a long time. Before, I created my own hurdles with excuses. So I didn’t have to start, so I did not have to be in a vulnerable position. Alone, making steps as a choreographer, with my own story, on a stage… But now, Like I explained in my first blog about my solo, my friend Usha pushed me to just start with it already. So I started with the idea of making a 10 minute piece. But during the past few times in the studio, I felt I could better tell my story by using more time. I am enjoying the process and am learning so much. I am excited to share that my solo will be around 20 minutes. 

Yesterday was my 5th day in the studio, but the first time that I presented it to someone else. I have been sharing my process in writing on this blog, but sharing it live in the studio was a first. I felt both excited and vulnerable. It can be an intimidating place to share your story and then also your ideas on how to translate those to a stage. Now my own research process is becoming a product, open for the opinions of others. 

I arrived at 10am, 1 hour before Shailesh (my coach in this journey of creating my solo) would arrive. I got a coffee and went to Nowhere, the place where I always rehearse and whom supports me in this project with Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie. I re-read the things I wrote down during my process and after half an hour I went in the studio to warmup my body. 

I have been friends with Shailesh for 20 years. He was actually the person who taught me my very first moves in popping, and started training me. Besides that we are part of the same company known as Illusionary Rockaz Company. Explaining this, you can imagine that this meetings was not that formal. Yet still exciting because we know each other well.  

We discussed different topics before getting into movement. 
– My story, what am I going to tell on stage?
– What have I been doing those past sessions in the studio
– My idea about the usage of lights
– The (story) blocks I created
– Different movement concepts
– The use of the stage / spacing
– And other things that came to mind.
With this information he could paint a picture and draw an overall line to better understand what he was about to witness. 

Then it was time to get moving. I first showed everything separately, meaning the different (story) blocks and movement concepts I had created. After this I was advised to paste everything together and dance it as a 20 minute piece. Because we discussed so much in the beginning of the session, things became much clearer for myself as well. It helped to fit those pieces and blocks together in a way that felt logical. Now there was space to experience the piece as a whole. For both me as the dancer, as for him as the viewer. From this point there was an improved understanding of what works, what doesn’t and how to add different dynamics. 

We continued working on this 20 minute performance. We shifted some pieces if it did not feel right, and while dancing I received notes that I could implement instantly. Besides that we experimented with different kinds of music that could support the movement and to help translate the right mood. 

I am delighted to say that I now have a 20 minute blueprint of my solo. I left the studio inspired. The next time in the studio, after the holidays, I know from where I can start.

some snippets of yesterday’s rehearsal. I also wrote a blog about the topic that fuels the inspiration for making this solo piece.