I knew well in advance that Morgan would not be able to attend most Monday or Tuesday rehearsals, but a snag in her schedule prevents Frances from attending as well, so I work only with Adriana and Mary. We’re on schedule so it’s a relaxed day, and because of Morgan’s planned absence, I was already mentally prepared to work with a fractional cast. I choreograph the third iteration of the main waltz phrase, expanding on the concept of the imaginary partner. It’s still a big sweeping waltz, but I have them dance it making it very clear that there are four other people on stage they see but the audience can’t. We’ve moved from a more conventional use of the music to something odder. I then move out of chronological order to make a jumping phrase for Adriana. I have her pegged as a jumper because of her Joffrey training, and my instincts are right, she soars. Like Mary’s phrase the day before, the timing is complex, we create the phrase without music, and set it to music, so the two fit together, but not in the expected way. Ends of the dance phrases don’t coincide squarely with the end of the musical phrase, and the result looks more interesting for it, without seeming heedless of the need for some sort of congruence.
We do the final repeat of the main waltz phrase, skipping the fourth for now. I have a hunch that the right effect would be to have the dancers remain in place, moving very slowly. On Friday, we left off at a point where the dancers had all been waltzing in a circle, and then stopped and swayed slowly with their arms at their sides as if intoxicated by the waltz. When we repeated that section today, I altered it to move twice as slow and with the arms raising and lowering. This became the start of the final section, a decorative series of arm movements done on geologic time. It seems quite right. I’m left at a point today where the question in my head is striking the right balance between dance content and theatrical effect.