History - Behind-The-Scenes (1986)
Rehearsal September 1986
History | History Text | History Posters | 1986 | Behind-the-Scenes (1986)
When the Floor Bounces Rehearsal (1986)
Choreographer: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic|
Music: (No Music)
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: 11:52 minutes
This was the second recorded rehearsal of When The Floor Bounces at the Westgate Fine Arts Center. At the start of the video was an attempt to see the dance with more depth, since the rehearsal space was long and narrow it was difficult to get a sense of how the dance would look on a proscenium stage. It didn't work though, because of the structural supports blocking the movement as the dancers manipulated the quilt poles. It looks like only the end of the dance was recorded.
We reset back to the narrow orientation and ran it again. The structure of Floor... had come a long way from the initial sketches shown in the early 1986 lecture demonstrations, available in the Educational documentation. The interaction of the dancers with the sets/props is clearer and the timing is better. The dance still feels heavy in this run of the dance, but once the music was incorporated, it lifted the whole dance and gave it a lighter, more playful quality. It is apparent that in 1986, the sense of timing was very different then it is, as of this writing in 2018, society has sped up and this is reflected in the tempo of the choreography.
The elements of this dance all came together once When the Floor Bounces was set on the stage with the lighting, music, and depth of field. The viewer was better able to experience the environmental element of the moving poles, the visual juxtaposition of the black and white side of the material versus the colorful magical quilts on the underside, and of course the movement expressed by the dancers. The performance version can be viewed in the 1986 debut concert As Our Thoughts Escape Us.
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.