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Day 15 – 30 days until performance

It’s very humid today, which makes everything more lethargic today, but we continue along with Armature (without Morgan until Friday) and complete one section of the dance and begin another. After going over the material previously made, we completed the pas de deux for Abraham and Mary. I had left her in a penchée, so we got her back on her leg and off the stage in a series of small supported jumps. Abraham partners quite nicely. I also figure out a way of describing to the dancers what I’m looking for in the port de bras. I tell Mary and Adriana to be constantly aware of “the other arm”, meaning the one that isn’t leading the motion. It’s like the second leg in a pas de chat or a jump, it tends to get forgotten, and in this case, held rigidly, rather than with breath. Frances’ section from Friday gets appended, and with additions, ends the section to the partita. I’m very pleased that Frances comes into her own in this material. I don’t expect every dancer to be flattered equally by everything I do, but I do like to be able to give each of them something that shows them off.

We start work on a new section, made to a piece of music called So You Want to Write a Fugue? So we indeed make a fugue, a very humid fugue today for Mary, Abraham and Adriana. I have Abraham lead the fugue, but find myself choreographing the bulk of it on Adriana. The choreography is an interesting balance of terre à terre and aerial work, all my instincts about this ballet make it have a good deal more terre à terre work than I might ordinarily. But it’s very detailed, with only slight differences, and though we choreograph it to the music, it gives everyone’s memories a thorough workout, and placing it in canon becomes a struggle for Mary and Abraham. Adriana somehow keeps on top of all of it, and I ask her to do the section once for me alone, without music. It will become a prequel to the fugue itself.

When I look at what I’ve done today, I also realize that Forsythe and Artifact II have been thrown into the gristmill. The similarities in titling were not intentional, nor in musical choices or in choreographic austerity, but there they are. I felt his ballet (at least the smaller version that is only for two couples) was about relationships, to me, mine is about ballet. There’s no point in comparing choreography and quality, nor is that my intent, but the emotional tone in Armature is optimistic and Artifact II is not an optimistic work. And there is no such thing as a classical pessimist.