Welcome to the very first blog post about Version Excursion Dance!
Since writing is another of my great passions (and I don’t do nearly enough of it), I’m elated to begin this new blogging journey with you. Besides, I get to write while still procrastinating that screenplay I’ve resolved to finish every New Year for the last five years.
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of a dance performance? About the creative process and the not-so creative process? When it comes to the performing arts, most people just see the finished product. Only the choreographer, the dancers, and possibly an invited observer or two know what happens behind the closed doors of a studio. There’s not a lot of talk about what goes on before a piece is fully exposed in all its glory under the bright stage lights, only to be mercilessly judged by audience and critics like a pop singer’s bikini body. So, I am here to open those studio doors and let you, our audience, in on the nitty gritty.
So here goes…
January is typically a slow month. I don’t know about you, but I usually need a break after the holidays. It’s a good time to regroup, reassess, and try new recipes with the crockpot I got for Christmas while I wait for everyone to get back from vacation so we can start rehearsals again.
Our first order of business this year will be to finish The Navigator, our music video/ dance film collaboration with Seattle-based indie folk duo, March to May. If by some chance, I haven’t yet told you about The Navigator, visit www.marchtomay.com/thenavigator to learn more about this awesome project and how we are bringing it to life!
Our next and last day for shooting principal photography is January 30th. When we began planning The Navigator, I never imagined the hours of work it would take to coordinate an underwater scene.
To get an idea of how daunting this task is, rate how difficult you think it should be on a scale of 1-10. Good. Now, multiply by 6. Ok, got a number? Now convert that to Intergalactic parsecs, and that number is the approximate level of difficulty planning an underwater film shoot.
First of all, finding a location. Swimming pools aren’t exactly chomping at the bit for proposals from independent artists. It means they have to basically shut down for a day and they are always concerned about liability. So, getting them to return your calls is the first step.
I know what you’re thinking. And yes, we did look for private pools. But unfortunately, most people with private pools shut them down in the winter because of heating costs. We had a few candidates who were more than willing, but it would mean postponing another six months.
Scheduling is also a chore. With a cast and crew of 15 people- all with day jobs and other projects- there are precious few days available that everyone can be in the same place at the same time. Matching up one of those days with a pool that is not already rented out, willing to cancel their classes, or charge more than our entire budget took a lot of work and research. But after a couple weeks of phone calls, emails, scheduling, rescheduling, hair-pulling, and many pots of coffee later, we did it! Just before leaving for the holidays, I signed a contract with a pool that fit our time frame, our specs, and our budget. Then I breathed a huge sigh of relief and proceeded to curl up under my desk and rock back and forth in the fetal position for a few hours.
Seriously, though, Version Excursion has another exciting event happening in 2016: we are having Company Auditions on January 23rd! As our collaboration with March to May grows and expands, we are seeking more dancers for both film projects and live performances. I’m so thankful for every single dancer who has been part of V.E. in 2015, but some of them are moving on after we finish The Navigator. If you are interested in auditioning, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dancers, I hope to see you there! Audience, look for some new faces in 2016.
Version Excursion is an Associated Program of Shunpike. Shunpike provides independent artists in Washington State with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success. You can support by donating through our click-and-pledge page here: https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=110555