What does it take to be a dancer? To remember the choreography, to give it your all, to use your whole body? It takes being engaged.
When I’m in the
studio I have my ears and eyes turned on high. Yesterday
Daniel Russell Cooke and Brandon Ramey rehearsed for Taking Flight. I was taking notes and I
heard them moving but didn’t see them. Even though they were leaping high in the
air and working to their limit, I heard no clumps or bumps, but only the soft padding and
swishing of feet.
Choreographer Petr Zahradnicek is completely engaged in the dance making process,
willing to tweak his ideas based on each dancer’s body and how
the dance looks. He asks Daniel and Brandon to do a move – he gives them a
starting point and then says, “How would you do it?” Each dancer creates
his own take on the steps, and their dances complement one another.
Be present. Though Daniel and Brandon both have colds, they
give their all in rehearsal, to the point where Petr says, “You really don’t have
to try so hard.”