The Final Performance

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Last night we finally got to showcase all that we learned this semester.  Performing in front of a live audience was nerve racking and also exhilarating.  We had really good crowds for both showings, and I was proud of us for all the work we had done together.  We started the piece with a party circle, where each of us created an eight-count on the spot focusing on one part of the body.  My focus was the neck, and I actually started the circle (so exciting).  This exercise we used a lot in warm up and it was awesome to be able to share it with our audience.  After that, we walked throughout the space, continuing our usual warm up material.  We demonstrated our scaling-up and scaling-down techniques as different people called out numbers.   Then we went into one of my personal favorites: counting to the floor.  For eight counts, four counts, two and then one, we moved ourselves to the floor, and then got back up again.  I remember how impossible this seemed at the beginning of the semester, and now it’s just another part of the practice.  I actually think it’s fun.  After this, we went into our two different floor phrases: the X phrase and the pelvic phrase.  I was in the pelvic phrase.  This phrase has always been one of my favorites in class, but I have to be honest, it was a little unnerving to do in front of a crowd.  We were REALLY getting into our pelvises and there was a moment where I giggled because I didn’t know what to do with my face or where to look.  However, after the show, people said that it was one of their favorite phrases.  After the floor sequences, we went into our ping-pong phrase.  This one, to me, was the most intimate.  Finding your mother tongue can be challenging — you go into a place of memory.  Doing this in front of people almost felt like being half-naked on stage.  Our eyes were closed the whole time.  We started by imagining that our ping pong ball was small and in our heads.  It moved to our necks, shoulders, ribcages, torsos, pelvis, legs, knees, and finally feet.  This section of the piece felt like the longest and was definitely the most demanding.  The ping pong ball then had free range, allowing us to fully find our mother tongue.  We again scaled up and scaled down — energy-wise — until we were at a zero.  We stayed in this moment for a bit, just breathing.  I was dripping sweat.  We then opened our eyes and the audience erupted into applause.  Their energy fed us energy and our energy fed theirs.  A very intimate experience.  We then moved into the choreographed phrases.  I was in the “Giant Steps” section.  We prepared this section with a lot of deep listening exercises and lots of mother tongue exploration.  I was extremely proud of how it turned out.  My duo, alongside another, repeated the phrase twice.  It is definitely one of my favorite phrases in the piece.  The Tipping Phrase went after us.  This phrase was performed to a drum beat solo and I loved watching it as much as performing it (in class).  After the conclusion of this phrase, we went into the conclusion of the piece.  We started different rhythm groups and the audience followed.  We then had another little party and then ended the piece with a bow.  It was wonderful and I am so sad it’s over.  Working with UBW has been a wonderful experience.