September 28, 2012—Premier performance of From One Foot To The Other at Feverhead. A collaborative evening-length performance choreographed by CoCo Loupe. Dancers included: Noelle Chun, Lindsay Caddle LaPointe, Sharon Udoh, Zach Baird, Karen Mozingo, Leigh Lotocki, Nicole Garlando, Eve Hermann, Noah Demland, and CoCo Loupe. Music composed and performed by Sharon Udoh and Noah Demland (and others, whom they will have to name because I don’t know who all they had help out but they were phenomenal–the viola!!)
To Dance, Collected Thoughts on FOFTTO by Eve Hermann
To dance. Well, I did. I put on makeup. Wore the costume. I looked like a Kinko’s employee. Gray dress pants, they were comfortable. A boy cut actually. And a green almost shiny 3/4 length sleeve shirt with a v-cut neck.
I stretched. I warmed up. I hugged and squeed and made faces. We sat in a group while CoCo thanked our beautiful crowd. Why so many men? Where were the women? Such a gorgeous crowd in our small funky warehouse space.
CoCo pressed play. From One Foot To The Other. First on the right. We hold hands. The left foot is up off the ground. We look at our hands, our feet, our audience, each other, read the walls covered with text. It gets uncomfortable. Really so much so. I begin wondering if the audience hates us. The energy of them is different than dancing with our group and when we had Susan there. Different. Competing thoughts of so many people zinging around the room.
Settle. Get in your feet Eve. Remember to breathe. To smile. To see. Be seen. Music stops. We say our texts–mouths moving but not voicing our words. The audience seems to draw in their breath. There is a solid quiet to this moment. We all wander off in different directions and then Sharon’s music starts.
It has begun. For real.
I wink at Sharon at that moment she looks towards me through her arms. She’s real and good and loving what she’s doing. She goes to the ground a second time. I crawl to her and begin the duet. Go away. Go away. Come here. Come here. Close the shade. Close the shade. Hug me. Hug me. Fly fly fly fly. Over my head. Over my head. To the ground. Up. To the ground up. Again super big. Again regular speed. Noah is nearby. He is looking and seeing. Sizing things up in his solo.
I fold and unfold. This section is hard. All improv. Unthinking speeds. How do I keep folding and unfolding? How do I do it for so long? Look at Sharon. Steal a gesture. Look at Zach. Steal a gesture. Remember your solo part in there. Fall to the ground. Freeze. Someone laughs. Up and moving. Breathing. Moving. Sweating. Folding. Unfolding. And it ends.
Standing up we are ready for flicky hands. Sharon Go! Eve Go! Zach Go! Fast Fast Slow Fast Fast Fast Slow Slow Fast Fast. Sit. Try not to run into each other. See people. I run, dive, look into people’s eyes. They are so close. They wince. They smile. They look back. I run away and dive at someone else. 10 times. Smiling. Slow and fast. We sit.
Karen and Lindsay come in and do their duet of solos. Confusion and frenetic activity within. Two stories happening at the same time. They are entrancing. Beautiful. Someone tells me later that they loved Karen’s gesture of leaning back into the space and moving around.
They finish. Zach and Sharon stand. I am opposite them. The music is a beautiful piano piece. There’s a part where Zach walks to the corner I stand in and we look at each other. I am so happy to see him when he gets here. Then he walks off. Zach has so much vulnerability in that body as it runs and flies around Sharon. As he walks. Being seen and tall and extended yet there is something small and tender there.
It ends and turns to Zach’s solo. So touching and the music is perfect. In rehearsals, one of the most powerful moments was the first time the music met up with his solo that we’d been watching for weeks. The old timey piano, so quiet and perfect for the timeless vulnerability that is Zach. Somehow it gets an essence of him. He ends with a swirling around a pointed finger and then a cupped hand that he reads as he walks off. Looking around. He ends up in a corner, looks at me, looks at the audience, looks at Sharon, goes back to his cupped hand and I run to Sharon on the other side and back to the warehouse door side to begin Heroes.
It’s about my hand turning and cupping, then about capturing that energy and putting it into my clasped hands, standing tall and like a hero, opening wide, flying flying flying flying. The music is tender and moving. Violas from heaven. Sharon flies. I watch. Leigh is out there. At dress rehearsal I managed to see her and move around her easily. Opening night, I missed her more and there is the moment when I turned around quickly and was half an inch from smashing noses with her. We stared at each other in that half a second without flinching and moved off. Letting it go.
Turns into the trio with CoCo, Leigh & Sharon. It is strange and they are beautiful.
Next is Noelle’s solo. She is lovely and humorous. With her amazing technique, the plucky viola adds so much to her and her movement. She parodies the flicky hands. She ratchets her leg up, she waves her hands in her face, and smacks them around. Then she floats and jumps. She makes penguin jumps like only a gorgeous dancer can.
It turns into actor reactor. We follow Sharon, we follow Zach, we follow me. Noelle fucks with us in a beautiful way. The whole time I’m trying to figure out how I am reacting. How does that work? What is that I want to do to react? Here comes Noelle, she is trailing me. I want to react to her. Move my focus back to Zach, Sharon. No! I’m the actor. I’m lost and flailing. What the hell am I doing? Why am I doing? Give this to someone else.
Zach goes into fold unfold and we start wandering around. Watching him. Looking at each other. Talking together laughing. We touch. We smile. We release some tension in the performance. Then Nicole is out there with her solo. Touching, floating, intense, wavey, desiring. Sharon and I walk up to be with her. She finishes a set of moves we called “Lucinda” and we begin them. Look over to the right, flow down to the left, turn around, hands on the floor. Solid, lovely amazing hands, doing this thing. Up on one foot, birdie, revele or some such thing, around, flow, again. This is slow, thoughtful with little speeded up moments and then it ends.
We all do hand jive across the floor, slow movements of the hands. Into the corners of the performance space then this strange, sometimes discordant music starts. It is mine. My solo. My arms are up like train semaphores, swirling in the air. Justin said he could feel a lifetime passing in that first diagonal across the floor. There is the slow and contemplative and then the fast and nervous. The solo is a combination of that. Slow fast solid wobbly.
I stop my solo and return to standing on one foot, then the other, as in the beginning. It invites CoCo in, and we repeat this until her music starts. I drift off. And her slow, powerful, grounded performance begins. You can see her strength. Her power. Her intensity. Her skill.
The dancing ends with cracking open the garage door and escaping to the sidewalk. Originally we were going to cross the street for the end of the performance, but we got to the edge of the street and decided to stay. Except Zach who was halfway across the street before we got him to come back. We stood out there with the full moon and took our bows.