This week I thought we’d take a little break from Holocaust history and take a look at the rehearsal process that goes into building a show like I Have Lived a Thousand Years. If you watched last week’s video, you already have a bit of an idea of what goes on (if you haven’t seen it, then go watch it now!).
Since rehearsal is once a week, the first few minutes are filled with a lot of hugging and weekly recaps of our lives. Some of us have known each other from previous shows and start dusting off old inside jokes (This is also the point where we make loud comments about how sore we are in the hope that Lyndell will go easy on us during warm up).
Spoiler alert: she never does.
Lyndell’s warm up is a mix between classical ballet and the exercise routine that Rocky Balboa abandoned because it left him in tears each day. Since we have dancers ranging from hip hop to contemporary to flamenco, the warm up gets on the same page as far as dance technique goes.
It also serves as a great bonding experience. If I Have Lived a Thousand Years doesn’t work out, this company has great potential as a standup comedy act, so long as we performing under balletic duress.
After warm up, the rehearsal really gets going.
Lyndell’s way of approaching dance pieces is different from any other choreographer that I’ve worked with. She spends a lot of time talking us through the piece, not only telling us the context, but the greater meaning behind the dance and how it relates to the rest of the show, and the arc of our emotions throughout. We may even get a bit of a history lesson.
By this point, the jokes have died out and everyone has their game faces on. Each week brings a challenge: sometimes it’s just trying to perform the dance steps correctly or manage traffic patterns. Other weeks, it’s hard to connect to the emotional turmoil of those who went through the Holocaust.
Once we finish the day’s group piece, Lyndell works with some of the soloists. Anyone can stay behind and learn the solo, but most give into hunger pangs and grab a bite to eat. Our social media expert Matt catches a few interviews with some of the dancers, and that’s a wrap!
Be sure to stay on the lookout for the pics and videos coming out this week! We learned an extra dance for National Dance Day, so mark your Saturday calendar!