Revisiting

I still find it strange revisiting a piece.  We are very fortunate to be performing Every Way Up frequently, and the process of going back into the rehearsal room and revisiting the piece has thrown many questions, thoughts and challenges at us.  Re-looking at things – and now at a different time, in different contexts – makes me think and feel differently.  What should we keep?  What should we get rid of?  What should change, and how?  How far do we need to journey away from what we had to refine and finesse it into something new?  Do we even want something new?

Of course, as a performer, one never wants to be bored – which is want to happen when performing the same piece over and over.

As a choreographer, does revising a performance make it better, or just different?

What does become more and more obvious, with each passing performance, is that each iteration of the piece is inescapably new; each time a different experience for us and for the audience.  That each time we perform it, we move forward, we are informed and inspired afresh, we inch carefully into the future, through a piece which revels in the past.

Looking at the past is like lolling in a rocking chair. It is so relaxing and you can rock back and forth on the porch, and never go forward.

– Martha Graham, Blood Memory

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