Today we started with a warmup. We started with extensions of the back and arms through port de bras. While Ruth read we worked through contractions of the back and arms. Some of the arm shapes are quite challenging, but really interesting. In all arm movements, Taylor’s style creates a half circle shape, rounded and held firm, or it creates arm positions with right angles. There is the S shape of the arms where you start with arms horizontal, parallel to the floor and then bend one slightly up, and the other slightly down. This position can be reversed, or used with movement across the floor. Another arm shape is the boxed arm position. Back, abs, and arms are engaged to keep the arms in a right angle position. Arms can face down, with the hands toward the floor, or they can face up towards the ceiling. Ruth also mentioned that in Taylor’s work, all movements should feel like an extended version of your own limbs. Rather like an extra phantom limb, your legs and arms extend beyond your body to give a fuller, more energized movement.
After the warm up, we moved to across the floor exercise combinations. This took shaped concepts from the warmup and translated them into movements that spanned the entire room. I very much liked the jumping combinations with the right angle arm shape. There were also a few variations of the waltz step we learned that used the s-shape of the arms through movement.
After finishing across the floors, we took time to learn some of the phrases from Party Mix, including Carolynn and Dan. This was fantastic, as it took element from all of the exercises and put them into characters. There was lots of jumping and moving and shapes. We are really starting to create a piece. The characters all have their own personality, and each character has their own unique phrase.
It really is fantastic to watch all of the piece start to take form.