Though I’ve done some preliminary work on this project over the last few months, I am starting this blog with the beginning of our rehearsal period at 14 Wall Street, which we affectionately refer to as The Vault. I am grateful to have four months of free rehearsal space there through a Swing Space grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The space really is a former bank vault. It’s underground and still has big, fierce-looking steel doors. The LMCC has put dance floors in one section of each level. There are no distractions there. Cell phones don’t work. There are no windows to look out. Our rehearsals have been very focused and productive.
The Partner Project evolved out of a few different interests. One is my ongoing fascination with the duet. Every interaction between two people can be seen as a duet. When we observe two people interacting in a public space, whether it’s an argument, a kiss, or a task like figuring out a map, we are affected by it and the duet is affected by the environment in which it is taking place. What does it feel like to be in the duet or an observer of the duet? Check out the duets that are all around you, and notice the ones that your in with family, friends, colleagues, strangers.
Another reason for this project is financial. It allows me to work with only two dancers at a time – yes financial concerns shape artistic decisions. Some of the ideas we’ve investigated are: the fine line between protecting and smothering; the difference between “show me, ” “help me,” and “teach me.”
We are going to do a series of showing in public spaces this fall. We’ll post all the locations and times on our website. And we’ll invite you to participate in this blog and other online and in-person interactions as the project develops. Please join us in whatever way you can on this new journey. In Fall, 2010 the finished version will be presented.