History - Behind-The-Scenes (1986)
Rehearsal August 1986

History | History Text | History Posters | 1986 | Behind-the-Scenes
When the Floor Bounces Rehearsal (1986)

Choreographer: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Music: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Set Design: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Set Construction: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Quilt Design and Construction: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Dancers: Pamela Falvo, Wendy Fink, Geneva Ann Moss
Location: Westgate Fine Arts Center, 342 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah
Length: 8:50 minutes
This August rehearsal took place at the second floor of the Westgate Fine Arts Center. To set the scene of what it was like to rehearse in that space...even though Elizabeth thoroughly mopped the floor with a bucket of water and Lysol at the beginning of each day, the dirt was so ingrained in the old floor that the dancers would be covered in dirt by the end of rehearsal. The quilts in this set got filthy and had to be laundered before the concert. This was a tricky business because the black squares were painted and some of the material scraps used for the quilts were silk.

The second floor still had an area on the north side where peanuts were roasted and the dust from that activity traveled into the rehearsal space. Jimmy had put up walls of plastic sheets as protection, but the dirt permeated everything. It was also very hot, anywhere between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was no air conditioning. With all that being said, Elizabeth loved that rehearsal space, and it would have made a great home base for Another Language Performing Arts Company, but the owners of the building had only donated that area of the second floor for the summer to prepare for the debut concert As Our Thoughts Escape Us. Loft construction would begin in the Fall of 1986 and that second floor area was divided up into several apartments.

Elizabeth really enjoyed working with the dancers Gigi Moss, Wendy Fink, and Pamela Falvo. They were very flexible in the development of the dance, willing to try out ideas and helped Elizabeth work through this rather difficult choreographic challenge. They good-naturedly suffered the heat and the dust, and did their best under uncomfortable circumstances. This rehearsal was the first test of a music score created by Jimmy Miklavcic. It didn't work, because the music had no dynamics. Trial and error is part of the process of developing an original idea, there is a lot of experimentation involved. The transitions between many of the movements and prop interactions was still very rough. The structure of the dance was coming along, but a lot still needed to be tightened and cleaned. Working with the material and the poles was very challenging. Unison was difficult at times, because the set obstructed the dancers sight lines and there were no counts they had to work with each other and feel the timing.

When the Floor Bounces was a physical representation of the internal mind of children at play. Children love playing in tents and hiding under material. A child's room can start out somewhat orderly, but once play begins, everything changes and gets moved around. The evolving placement of the poles, material hooked together and unhooked represented that idea. The three harlequin characters interact and then separate throughout the dance. They alternated between playing with the material and interacting together, represented by unison, canons, lifts and weight-bearing movements. At the end they are exhausted and need to sleep, but of course, as with any sort of sleep over, there is always one child that, even though also very tired, does not want to go to bed. Finally, though, exhaustion wins and Pamela, the final hold out, gives into sleep as well.

Elizabeth was very interested in experimenting with how to morph a physical environment within the story of the choreographic structure. In the early 1980's she choreographed several dances with sets, built by Jimmy Miklavcic, that also turned into props. She was blurring the lines between stage environment and choreographic interaction, exploring with the idea of how an object can start out as one thing and turn into something else. Elizabeth was trying to create an element of magic and transformation beyond the obvious in her dances.