Sumi and I (Summation Dance) had the honor of facilitating DEL’s 20th anniversary Movement Sentence Choir in February! We have been involved with DEL since 2008, but this was our first opportunity to step into a leadership role. We wanted to make this an unforgettable event so we planned and revised and planned some more. We invited our friends and contemporaries to help us out as our honored guests: Sidra Bell (Sidra Bell New York), Mike Esperanza (Bare Dance Company), and Kendra Portier (BAND Portier). All the planning paid off, but really it was our guests and the participants who made the day so wonderful. The facilitators led their groups with kindness, inclusiveness, and patience, and the dancers worked HARD and practically non-stop and were totally open to anything and everything we threw their way.
We arrived at the 92nd Street Y on a cold February afternoon and quickly transformed the space; hanging posters and creating a friendly open environment by having everyone go around and introduce themselves or “greet” three other people. We then began an in depth exploration of our mystery movement sentence, which we revealed at the event: GREET SPARKLE BOOGIE PARADE. We made animal noises, traveled to Mars and Jupiter, danced and invented movement vocabulary in every way possible – shifting levels, dynamics, relationship, timing, making shapes, using different body parts, and on and on!
We didn’t stop here: participants created their own short movement sentence that they could easily repeat; we brainstormed elements of a parade and performed structured improvisations moving on various pathways from the different corners of the room; we laughed and we played!
All of this exploration and hard work set the participants up perfectly for the actual performance! There were lots of questions, but honestly the dance came together on it’s own. We used everything we had created, set the structure, and performed a 20-minute dance for a live audience all over the world at 5pm. I don’t think either Sumi or I have created anything so lengthy and complete in such a short amount of time. Possibilities are always endless … Watch and see for yourself what we created (scroll until you see 92Y 20th Anniversary of DEL) and stay on the look out for next year’s Movement Sentence Choir – DEL is turning this into an annual event.
Want to participate in next year’s Movement Sentence Choir? Stay in touch and join our mailing list.