In the last two months AXIS Dancer Emily Eifler got a chance to work with 4 different choreographers: Victoria Marks, Marc Brew, Amy Seiwert, and Sonya Delwaide.
We asked her what that was like.
How different/similar are the choreographers approaches in creating work?
Amy and Marc are similar. They gave us base phrases and specific tasks and we built material off of that. Sonya started from the beginning and basically walked us through what she wanted and we molded it in to something we could do and she liked but it was all very specific to her first moves. Vic is much more focused on meaning and intention and less on developing movement.
How different/similar is the movement of the different pieces to your body/state of mind?
Amy’s work is technical and feels powerful and precise. Marc’s focuses on the relationship arch and partnership. Sonya’s is fun and energetic. VVic’s piece feels really internal, like the dance of trying to breakout of a shell.
What is exciting about doing repertory work?
You get to know lots of different styles and people but also better understand your own preferences: what communications styles work best for you, what music, what level of technicality, what kinds of movement.
What is a challenge about doing repertory work, that people might not think about when they see it performed on stage?
The personality of the choreographer changes the atmosphere of rehearsal dramatically. Each choreographer has a very different way of communicating so you have to get used to not only producing movement in their style but also how they give directions and the difference between what they mean and what they say.
Share with us one of your favorite rehearsal moments.
I adore Amy. She was patient and tough and taught me things about my body I never thought about before. My favorite moments were her explanations and metaphors and language in general. “Don’t kill the chickens!”
(photos by David DeSilva)