Saturday, October 8, 2011

Show Girls: Follies

This week I dove back into rehearsals for the The Window Sex Project. After a brief post-performance hiatus, the cast and I are diving into an October Choreographic Intensive - hooray! I'm super excited.

In rehearsal I'm starting with the revision of "Keep It Moving." As I mentioned in my post Margin to Center:
While watching the work on stage with fresh eyes, absolute absurdity is the phrase that kept returning to mind during the first section... Absurd like women as plastic Barbie dolls with limited mobility in their movable parts whose sole purpose is to be manipulated to someone else's satisfaction. Absurd like toy monkeys banging symbols. What "Keep It Moving" needs going forward in the rehearsal process is Rockette-precision. Arms this height. Legs that height. Counting out the 5 AND 6 AND 7 AND 8 AND... That section reads best when it is crispy clean as Auzriel's cheerleader pep song resounds "What you lookin' at? Huh? What you lookin at? Do you like what what you see? Do you like what what you see?"
I decided that if I was going to make this section work, I have to GO THERE. I have to really take a jab at the absurdity of women grooming themselves to fit into pre-made molds. I started to think of where this has come into play most obviously in dance and performance and what came to mind is Follies, Fosse, Rockettes, A Chorus Line and the Gamma Rays of School Daze. Over the course of the week, I'll be posting videos that are inspiring the choreography of what the cast and I have affectionately named: The Barbie Army.


What's great about the Follies - and all of the videos that I came across - is the absolute perfection in performance. It didn't matter how silly the girls looked with their arms draped in Christmas tinsel - girl after girl opened her arms to reveal perfectly quaft hair, flawless make up, and untiring smiles. Let's not also forget about our special ladies whose costumes included trains, head dresses and special things to carry or hang from the arms. Their slow walk not only ensured that they didn't trip and fall, but it allowed time for the audience to examine every bit of them as a fantastic spectacle.

So, whose your favorite girl? Mine is dressed in cotton balls.

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