Back in the studio with the crew working on Precipice. Rachel is working us hard again, and I have come to expect nothing less from her. Each day starts with her technique class, sharing the studio with other Perth dancers, followed by a session of David Zambrano’s Passing Through technique (read: lots of running!) to build on our group awareness and dynamic, and then into some hard core partnering work until lunch. The boys are working hard; lifting us, carrying us, lowering us, spinning us – generally being really awesome and doing all the muscle work! And Rachel’s faith in us all as dancers is really encouraging. Each day I question whether I can do everything she is throwing at me, but her confidence in me makes me determined to get there.
This process is unlike most I have been a part of before, in that Rachel doesn’t set us tasks to create the movement material, but comes in each day with a starting point and crafts the work from there. We work slowly and carefully, piecing the work together gradually, only having to making small changes when we revisit things the following day. Perfecting someone else’s movement style is tough – at first it doesn’t all connect – but Rachel moves in such a way that makes perfect sense once I overcome that first hurdle of “oh shit, how the hell do you do that?!”. The off-balance, suspension and redirection of momentum, and impossible turns are getting easier and more fluid. The feeling of satisfaction when you finally nail those things which were initially so challenging is immense.
This work is difficult, challenging me physically and technically at every turn. I’m tired, sore, my feet are blistered and I’m mentally drained at the end of each day. But we dancers are a crazy bunch, we somehow still love what we do despite all this. And of course, I feely incredibly lucky to be working on this project alongside four of my closest peers, who are constantly inspiring me and pushing me to be better through their all around amazingness… thanks Niggy, Rooney, Manny and Linny