I’ve just begun making a new piece for San Francisco Ballet.
The first week of making a dance is so weird. This idea I have been mulling around and imagining and twisting apart and understanding is suddenly, with full-force, becoming reality. It’s like I’ve been living amongst all of these empty balloons with smashed-up designs and then suddenly they all begin to inflate and the room is getting beautiful and dangerous. The transformation is so rapid that it’s hard to get a handle on what is actually happening. Sometimes I don’t truly see what I’ve done until I go back to the apartment and look at the videos from the day.
When people have asked me about what I am doing, I’ve been referring to the ballet as “an epic” or “a beast”. Half way through this first week I started wondering why I wanted to characterize it in this way. Things were going really well, why did it need to be scarier? I’m working with Prokofiev’s 2nd Piano Concerto and that certainly is a “big” work. It fills the room. But at the same time, I’m prepared. I know this music. There are big sets and lots of costume changes, but I know why they’re there and what to do with them.
I think that after all the time I’ve spent in the studio choreographing, I’m still astounded by it. I’m astounded that so many different people in so many different jobs all come together to make a thing that is epic. I’m astounded to have the trust of a group in that my idea is the idea to follow and to take the risk of seeing what is possible. I come upon this gratitude freshly every time I encounter the endeavor. Life is amazing.
Thank you to all of my collaborators for a wonderful first week.