Exploration and Play by Dancer Sebastian Grubb

AXIS Dancer Sebastian Grubb talks about the first few days working with Marc Brew: Working with Marc Brew has been great so far. We started last Monday with a day devoted to exploration and play to get acquainted with each other. Marc said he wanted to spend the whole first week playing and not worry about setting choreography until Week 2, but on Tuesday we were already creating initial duets. And on Wednesday we spent the second half of the day creating solos. I think it's hard not to want to set material, and I think setting material is also one tool for Marc to use in order to get a better understanding of how we move and what our skills and habits are. Another thing he mentioned early on was that he doesn't want us to just move the way we are used to moving. He is interested in breaking patterns, even if it feels awkward. So we are doing a mix of exploratory, improvisational work and creating choreo.

Sebastian & Marc in conversation during rehearsal

As the title of the piece we are making is Full of Words, we are also giving attention in our explorations to how our dancing carries meaning - or does not. It is one thing to simply move and another thing to evoke story, emotion, and context with our movement. Marc keeps reminding us that dance can be a language too, and in this case it is the language we'll use on stage to share the unfolding stories of relationships. In this vein, one game we have been playing is to use words to inspire movement: two dancers move into the "performance area" of our studio and are given a word, like "shove" or "slice". They base their choices of moment on this word, in a duet or as two related solos, and we observe which words elicit more powerful or interesting relationships and motifs.

- Sebastian

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