Thursday, we had our Designer Run-Through. This is where all the pieces in Hope Show, the division of dance’s main stage production, finally come together and are run in show order.

This year, we did the run-through on the stage, opposed to the studio. This gives the lighting designer a chance to get a feel for the production and plot the lights accordingly. For “Primitive Mysteries,” the designs have already been set and sent down from New York. In order to accurately portray Martha Graham’s original choreography, we must use her costume and lighting design, as well as have permission from the company.

On stage, in costume
It was interesting trying to attempt to do the piece on stage without ever rehearsing there prior. Even though we do all that we can to mark off the studio imitating the space of the stage, it always feels different once you get into the theater. Also, it was only the second time that we had rehearsed in the costumes, which are beautiful long blue dresses for the villagers and a white flowing dress for Mary.

One could say our run was rough, but the other two pieces, Ben Stevenson’s “End of Time” and Danny Buraczeski’s “Umbra,” looked great and definitely bring a dynamic of their own to the show.

Caught on film
One thing that I’ve never experienced before Thursday was the broadcast filming that took place. We had PBS there to film our pieces with 3 cameras and a video feed showing all the shots. Performing on stage for a live audience is familiar, but when it is for film, it is an entirely different feeling. It can make a dancer even more anxious, knowing that what they produce will be seen again. In a way though, it prepares us for the professional life of a dancer, and also gets the cast ready for the Dance Notation Bureau’s recording the day after Hope Show.

Yuriko seems pleased with the cast’s progression. After the run on stage, she came in and was blunt as usual, telling us the things that needed fixing but understanding the state of our performance. From here we have one more rehearsal in the studio, and then it is to the stage for spacing, tech and dress rehearsals. I know we will be ready by the time the piece opens; for now we’re working on finding that “magic” of the theater with this powerful group work. I hope to have more pictures soon of the costumes and, of course, Yuriko!