October just flew by! I’ve been very busy with training, which is always exciting. The last week of October was our reading week; I’ve had a good break to prepare for the next intense training block. For now, however, I’m going to take this opportunity to explain the creative challenge and my role in the project.

As I may have previously mentioned, the creative challenge is the product of the Assemble International 2013, which took place in May of 2013 @ NBS. The objective of this project was to keep the momentum flowing from the assembly. There are two criteria for the creative challenge; that it would take place in a non-traditional venue, and that there is a collaboration of art forms for the piece. The creative challenge was presented to all 18 schools present at the assembly. Of those schools, 14 students from around the world are taking part in the challenge, 7 of those students are from NBS. All pieces are to be presented in June of 2014, one month after the one year anniversary of the Assemble International 2013.

I’ve chosen to take part in the challenge as a choreographer. I’ve always thought that the challenge is so fantastic, and that being a part of it would open me up to many different possibilities. My choreographic inspiration was Jerome Robbins’ “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz”. We were first introduced to this piece in our history of ballet class, and in that class when we watched the piece I just wanted to get up and dance. Jerome Robbins, for anyone who may not be familiar with him, was a world renowned choreographer of ballets. His ballets were mostly created for the New York City Ballet, Ballet U.S.A, and the American Ballet Theatre. One of his most famous works was “West Side Story”. “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz” reminds me, stylistically, of “West Side Story”; it’s very groovy, flamboyant, and dynamic/rhythmic. After we watched “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz” I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and the feeling that it gave me. I thought that because I had such an urge to dance after watching it, that if I we’re to create a piece in the same sort of style I could not only unleash this urge, but perhaps transfer it to everyday people as well. And so my piece was born…

As of now most of the details are fairly faint. I’ve already decided my cast, which includes 18 other dancers from NBS, so that is out of the way. I’ve also found a location. My location is St. James Park, which is at the intersection of King and Jarvis St (T.O). It is a beautiful park filled with many flowers, paths, water fountains, and most importantly a gazebo. I cannot wait to start working with this location. The most important factor for me to develop is my collaboration. I had to choose something that would give an edge to the piece, which for me, had to be something that nobody has seen or heard before. I’ve decided to collaborate with a percussionist. I’m hoping that together we can create a fantastic piece that is in the blues style. I’m presently not sure if that’s even possible: the blues without a sax or a trumpet, but I’m very eager to find out. My first meeting with the percussionist is in early November.

NBS’ role in the challenge is to act as a tool for guidance. Because everything is in our own time, and without a budget, it forces whoever is taking part in the challenge to be very independent. However, the school acts as a mentor to not only help organize our thoughts, but for us to ask questions to and get feedback from, as this is a huge learning experience. I’m so excited to get started with rehearsals, and am so intrigued to see how the musical process develops.

Talk soon and I hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Topic: Blog

Posted 8 November 2013, 11:51AM

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