It is a piece of giant steps. It is a piece of reaching, running, and leaping. Like stones on water, we are skimming, floating, and flicking. Everything is involved, we use our fingers, toes, and our eyes. Our elbows are learning to lead, ruffling away from our bodies like feathers, and we are learning to soften our knees, to balance strongly, and peacefully.
This piece longs for sensitivity, and serenity, and yet it needs quickness and sharp jabs to survive. As the movements progress one to the next, the dancers are stretched. Like water they must surge or drift freely, lest they undergo the trauma and strain of change.
Tomorrow we will perform Pond Way. Andrea Weber has done a fantastic job of facilitating the reconstruction of this piece, always driving us forward, energetically, with good humor and joy, and demonstrating each part, a hundred times, clearly and patiently. We would not have had this experience without her extraordinary teaching!
What else can be perceived from this piece? Tomorrow will reveal new things. We will rely heavily on our instincts. From the inside, and in learning, it has proved unique: Merce used computer technology to simulate some of the movement* and yet it feels exquisitely organic, like it was plucked out of nature and plopped into NYC. Once again, Merce Cunningham created a moving depiction of life.
*By the time Pond Way was created, Merce was already in his 80’s. His love for technology proved very useful in continuing to create dances; with a software called DanceForms, he was able to manipulate computer bodies to move three-dimentionally. What a perfect opportunity! His company was willing to transcribe these dances onto their own bodies, and for many people, how interesting!