Audition #23: DAMAGE Dance

This took me way too long to post but I have been crazy busy!  I’m attending the Company XIV workshop this week.  Sadly, I had a conflict Saturday that wouldn’t allow me to do the Repertory portion of the workshop, but I’m participating in the Lucid Body class with Faye Simpson and company class with the amazing Laura Careless.

I’m going on day three.  I’m going to write a blog post for you guys for each day.  It’s been pretty intense work so far.  Mostly involving me crying my eyes out, writhing in agony doing yoga (I’m only used to ballet!!!), and trying not to get whiplash while executing XIV rep.  I’ve also made some great new friends though.  Anyway, more to come soon.

So eons (i.e. like a few weeks) ago I attended the invited audition for DAMAGE Dance.  On an interesting note, I have GREAT pictures from this audition because a journalism student from Columbia was following me for the whole day and documenting my life.  Why was this the case, you ask?  …Because I’m interesting, damn it!

Honestly, she was covering a story on Liberated Movement, and came to my ballet class.  She interviewed me as a part of the article she’s writing afterwards and was really interested in the blog idea.  She had a separate assignment where she needed to put an audio/visual slideshow together about “one day in the life” of one person.  I’m honored that she found me fascinating enough and came along to my audition to take these great photos.

Anyway, on to the audition!

I left work early to haul my butt out to the Mark Morris Dance Center.  Same place I went for the BodyStories audition!  As you will see below, I got #47.  I was excited about this.  I wore my super edgy black mesh leotard.  I figured since the company name was DAMAGE Dance and their repertory – from the videos I had seen – were very athletic and … “Grrrr”, that the black mesh leotard was appropriate.

I warmed up quickly before we were all (about 87 of us) corralled into the studio.  We started right into learning one short phrase.  It wasn’t too rough.  Definitely straight up contemporary and I managed to work out the parts that were tricky for me, crowded as the studio was.  The choreographer really encouraged us to show our personalities when we performed the phrase.

We went in groups of five or six, or maybe ten… I can’t remember.   I was #47 so I was just happy that FOR ONCE I had time to work things out.  We performed the combination twice, and then, the infamous cut.  I made this one!

We began to learn a new phrase.  The first one had been more open in terms of timing, but this one had specific counts.

And as there is with every audition, not long after we began to learn, I had my “oh crap” moment.

The company members were teaching us the movement and we stepped aside when we were instructed to let one demonstrate the next movement.  I watched as she ran towards the back of the studio, jumped and fouette-ed into a double attitude position, and fell straight to the floor in that position landing on the side of her left calf and her knee.

In all honesty, this is the first time I literally thought of turning in my number.  I knew that this kind of movement was not my strength as a dancer.  Some dancers are trained to perform movements like this.  I have been training almost exclusively in ballet, with about one class a week of cross training, mainly in jazz, contemporary, or Pilates.  I was not equipped to execute this kind of fall without potentially injuring myself, and if the company’s rep called for this, I was not the best dancer for them.

Being me, I didn’t turn in my number, but I knew I could not fully commit to this kind of falling when I performed the phrase.  I did my best, I tried to be careful.  We went in groups of five and performed the combination twice.  I didn’t make the second cut.  And I’m fine with that.  The company’s work is fabulous and daring, I just may not be the dancer for them.

I’m actually proud of myself for beginning to learn more fully, as a dancer, how my body is designed to move and trying to seek out work that I am best suited for.  That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep challenging my limits, but in order to have a long, fruitful career, I need to focus on the movement that is best fitted to my body.  I think this is the mature way to maintain a career as a professional dancer.

And with that, the eye candy!



One thought on “Audition #23: DAMAGE Dance

  1. I just wanted to say THANK YOU! for writing this blog; it’s very inspiring. 🙂 i’m an aspiring opera singer and can totally relate to having started a bit later than most and having had a break in training and then getting back into it. your writing style is awesome and fun to read, and your ‘100 auditions’ idea is brilliant! now i want to do the same thing with 100 opera auditions. 😉

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