We've started working with the dancers. The festival has "given" us 14 dancers to work with who are students attending the festival. In return for working with us (thus missing a few classes) they get a discounted rate. Doesn't speak much to the value of what we're offering! But it's helpful to us, so . . .
It is a big group to work with and because we are trying something new (as usual) it is a bit chaotic and the dancers don't really trust us. If you show uncertainty people think you just don't know what you are doing. Which to a certain extent is true, but they don't know that we eventually will get somewhere. We are rehearsing in a different place than where the final show will be, which is one complication; we are just figuring out how the unraveling will work, which is another; and the movements, as usual are not "dance-y" in a way that the students expect, so they think it is not interesting. We have one dancer who is a bit older than the others (29) and has her own company, so she tends to make up a lot of movement for everyone. We told them that their suggestions are welcome, but she has desided that means she can rechoreograph the bits she isn't happy with. We had a brief talk with her yesterday, but I had forgotten that in the middle of trying to figure out what the piece is going to be and how to deal with the fabric and yarn, we have to negotiate with all the dancers personalities as well! That is always an important part of the whole process, of course - we just have such a short time to create something interesting, that we are somewhat dependent on the good will of the participants. It is going to be a challenge for everyone.