GABRIELLA WILTZ

The [Creative] Process

Work hard for weeks. Learn from a newly concussed choreographer. Adapt to cast changes.

Taken by Heidi Murr

“The Undergrads of New Lucy” Photo taken by Heidi Murr

The cast of “New Lucy” is quite the unique one. From our choreographer to our cast members, we all have that certain element super weird that makes us mesh together so perfectly. Working with renown choreographer Susan Rethorst was such an honor and a special experience. I’ve never performed a piece as minimalist and post-modern as our piece for Dance Downtown this semester but I wouldn’t have wanted this new experience with any other people.

I’ve been very intrigued with the beauty in the [creative] process versus the final product lately and the process for “New Lucy” was like nothing I’ve experienced before. The piece wasn’t about anything in particular and the chaos of the movement on stage was very unrelated but there was a beauty is putting it all together. Susan Rethorst is the first choreographer I’ve worked with that starts simply from images that may or may not be related and just experimenting. The beginning was very slow and there were a lot of instances where she was stuck trying to continue generate movement, but as time progressed the process became more inclusive.

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The cast of “New Lucy” and Susan Rethorst; Photo taken by Carrie Cox

I feel as if I can say the piece is just as much mine as it is another cast members or even Susan’s. There is an element of everyone’s personality that is embedded in this piece. Remember when I said this was a cast full of weirdos? Well that means that a lot of random things took place in rehearsals and Susan is the type to catch you doing something funny or foolish and make it a part of your choreography. It’s what made the piece unique to this particular cast. It’s what brought us together. A fellow cast member of mine once referred to us a machine and that if one of us to do our movement without everyone else, it just wouldn’t make sense. I completely agree.

Despite Susan’s bus accident that concussed her and shaved a lot of rehearsals off of our time together, I still learned a lot from one of the most open-minded, willing, and sweet women and choreographers that I’ve had the pleasure of working with period. There is something to be said about “lazy body” and the movement quality of the piece that Susan required of us. It was very foreign to me in the beginning and it’s still something I can explore further, but there is so much to be said for a piece that isn’t “dancing” by whatever standard you set for yourself.

It baffles me how much time, energy, and effort is put into a piece. A 13-minute piece. Friday and Saturday then BOOM it’s done. New Lucy is now Old Lucy and Dance Downtown 2014 is another chapter done, one that I’ll keep reading and learning from for the years to come.

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