“I asked the dancers to be open, to listen to each other, to follow their instincts, their impulses, their visceral responses,” he said.
After each session, Bonachela handed out post-its to his dancers to record their thoughts and feelings, which he collected in a large plastic folder neatly stored behind his desk.
Their responses were silly, poignant, sexual, and sometimes dark – a sign of the trust the company has built between the dancers.
“We live a life when we shoot. We spend weeks together,” he said. “We are like a family in a way. They go through what a family would go through.
Dancer Mia Thompson said she was “heavily influenced” by the other dancers during the improvisations.
“Sometimes I’ll be on my own path, but someone will walk past me,” she said. “They have a big smile on their face, and I’m going to say ‘What are you thinking? “”
A 12-minute duet at the heart of the show born from four words on a post-it – “voluntarily creating awkward encounters” – and was presented in 2019 by the Paris Opera Ballet as part of the 350th anniversary of the company.
Bonachela said dancers were hungry to perform after the pandemic-induced hiatus, which forced them to learn new skills while teaching and performing on Zoom.
“As a dancer you lose a year and you don’t get it back,” he said. “They are really making up for lost time.
SDC executive director Lou Oppenheim said the company has weathered the pandemic well, providing work for more than 150 people and an audience of 100,000 for online and in-person dance lessons.
But the arts sector was still recovering from the pandemic and needed government support.
“Skills shortages and rising costs are creating a challenging environment, in turn limiting the ability to provide the community with the breadth and depth of incredible live performance experiences possible before the pandemic,” he said. she declared.
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