Earlier this semester I had my first taste of choreographing using props and for some masochistic reason I decided to use props again for my suite in Choreography. Let me tell you what a challenge this is. Somehow, you have to take an ordinary item, create movement with it and voila! You have yourself a prop dance!
OK--couple quick things to keep in mind. When the idea of having to dance with a prop comes to mind, suddenly you don't even know how to use said object for its original purpose any more. Take for instance a mirror, something of which I am working with right now. I pick up and the mirror and nothing. What the heck does a person do with a hand mirror? I don't even remember how I'm supposed hold the dang thing, let alone twirl around with it.
Once you've re-acclimated yourself with said object (Oh, that's what a mirror is for!!), you then have to figure how you would creatively move with it, hold it, etc. Try to do this without knocking yourself with the prop as they may be made of hard materials thus leaving bruises on your body. Contecting a mirror with your forehead is not going to help pull you out of the choreography block you're in. Owie.
Then you have to figure out how to get rid of the prop from your dancers' hands if you wish for them to dispose of prop half-way through the number. Not as easy as one thinks because things like mirrors can't be thrown or even rolled off stage like a hula hoop or a ball. See the predicament that props can create?
Not to mention the fact that they have to carted around from car to studio, broken down if need be and then returned to the car. It's a bit like having to move. You set up camp in your studio for the duration of your rehearsal and then pack up, head back to the homestead with all your belongings like the bag woman I've become. Although, I have to say, I'm a master when it comes to carrying massive amounts of junk. I can carry about four bags of groceries on each arm--how's that for a workout plan?!
I'm certainly learning the ropes when it comes to prop dances. My suite this semester has included a number of items including a rolling garment rack with a curtain. I've spoken of this curtain in a previous post, trying to figure out a way to keep it still. Well, I found the answer in masking tape.
That's right, I taped the darn wheels down. Call me crazy, but I was a desperate woman to keep that goofy thing from moving around for ONE entrance and be darned if I was going to spend tons of money on a ten dollar rack. So I taped it down. And no one ever has to know...with the exception of anyone who read this odd blog today.
And these mirrors I speak of, I had to paint them so they'll all be one color and came to the conclusion to use spray paint. I wouldn't necessarily call this my first time using spray paint but it certainly is my first time having to paint my own props...that's a horse of a different color if you think about it. Let's just say it's a good thing no one is looking up close at these suckers.
I'm of the mindset of "let's just get it done" and I tend to get impatient with things like paint that take forever and a day to dry. It's a miracle when I do my nails and there's not a smudge on there cause I'm usually the person that paints toes and then shoves my feet into my shoes or better yet, paints my finger nails and goes to do laundry. Explain to me why I wasted ten minutes on my nails only to ruin them in less than five seconds afterwards? Impatience, that's all. I can't help it, it's a natural feeling to hate waiting--that prevents me from doing something else fun.
I spray painted the backs of the mirrors, even bought glittered paint to go over and boy, did those mirrors looks flawless! At least the back did....because when I flipped over to do the front, I taped the mirrors so they wouldn't be painted. Yeah, I was a little sloppy in the taping job...but no one sees that part anyway. Goodness help me if I ever paint my house, I'll probably miss a whole wall then try to put a piece of furniture in front and say "Oh, no one will notice!"
This is all good practice considering I'm thinking of using a type of prop for my thesis in the fall--oh and I start that lovely project in approximately 22 days (20 until my birthday, 15 until I head to FL and 10 until I get home...I'm not really keeping close count though). I'm excited though. EXTREMELY nervous about it, but excited nonetheless. There's something unexplainable about seeing your vision come to life right out of your imagination and onto the stage so I am looking forward to this next educational adventure.
I'm also looking forward to some down time to rejuvenate my creative mind before I get started--come on inspiration, hit me with some dynamic ideas! Until then, I'll just keep trudging along for this final week of class.