One More Dance
It seems counter-intuitive that the year actually winds up as opposed to winding down over time. One would think that over time entropy would have its way and we would just ease out of the year. But no. Instead, it seems to me that things are actually winding up, with pressure building up and up until the moment of that final bow. There's only three weeks left till that moment, and with that knowledge in tow we rush onward, towards glorious victory. (And summer vacation.)
Our main project for this semester has been Missa Brevis. Choreographed in 1958 by José Limón, this piece is truly one of his great masterpieces. Reflecting on the devastation caused by WWII, this piece captures an image of a community torn down by war, but ready to come together as one in order to rebuild. The score (by Zoltan Kodaly) is one of immeasurable reverence and power. It speaks of spirit and ritual, while simultaneously painting a truthful and courageous portrait of the human soul. In light of all of this majesty, it is then up to us, the dancers, to truly bring to life the vision that José Limón had for this piece.
We began by studying the work in small, disparate parts. This way we were able to get a feel for the overarching emotional trajectory of the piece before we dove down into the nitty gritty technical details. The fact that we were portraying people, as opposed to characters, was always highly emphasized. This piece is not about a mythical world, but rather reflects on the realities of our own world, and as such we were always asked to truly allow ourselves to be absorbed by the piece, and to feel the spirit of these people whom we sought to portray in our very bones.
Now as we near the end of our rehearsal process and prepare to move into the theater for tech and dress rehearsals, I can't help but reflect on how far we ourselves have come as a community of people who have come together to build something great and beautiful. I have no doubts in my mind that we will do our best to give this piece the performance it deserves, and I believe that with any luck we'll be able to give similar credit to many other shows to come. Here's to this year's victories and to next year's challenges. Onwards and upwards!
Juilliard Dance 2020