Kelli Meyer’s thoughts while making LOVE ME
Brought to You by Frame Dance Productions, written by Kelli Meyer
When my friend Lydia told me about her new project Framing Bodies, I was psyched! The project involves a group of people, dancers and not dancers, sharing stories of love, loss, and loneliness. It involves writing, and movement. Two art forms combined. It was really exciting to hear about so when she sent out emails inviting all to join, I jumped on the chance.
Those who know me well, know I love the idea of writing, but when comes to the “sit-down-and-do-it,” well, I kind of fall short there. But so far I believe one of my expectations of this project is coming true: I’m actually sitting down and writing!
The First Rehearsal
So I must admit I was really nervous on my way to the first night of rehearsals. There were so many things to worry about: will traffic let me get there on time, will I get lost, will I look stupid? As it turned out I wasn’t the only one walking in a little late and Lydia hadn’t started without us. I did stumble through the short interview. Even though she only asked us what we did for a living, what our reactions to the project were, and expectations, it seemed like I couldn’t find coherent words to express myself. Yay for editing! Right? When we started warming up, Lydia surprised me by having the curtains closed, covering all the mirrors. My initial reaction was, “Wait! I won’t be able to see if I’m doing this right!” but my second reaction was sort of a humorous feeling of relief. “I won’t be able to see myself, and therefore how stupid I think I look.” So anxieties were destroyed. Though, I still felt awkward moving around being as I haven’t been to a dance class in about ten years. But I started to get used to it as the rehearsal went on, and it was really fun, and inspiring.
I think about half of the room was professional dancers who knew each other, but everyone was very open, especially for a first session. I really enjoyed the exercise we did with movement and words. Lydia had us move as if a part of your body was pulling you (like your hand, or knee or head). Someone said a word, like “Love” and we would all move, then someone else could say another word such as “Comfort” and we would stop moving until someone else said another word.
Besides movement, we each had a notebook. Inside the notebook was a writing prompt. We were given a few minutes to write on the prompt before warming up. My prompt was “I felt love when…” I thought of the first time my husband kissed me. It felt great to write in those few minutes. Later, we were split into small groups. Each person shared what they wrote with their group and the rest of the group wrote what they felt were key words to their stories. Then we all shared our notes with our group. It was so interesting and really amazing to see what people get out of other people’s stories, even simple words. In our group Denise used colors as vivid personifications. Instead of writing words from the stories, Cassie chose to use words and phrases that came to mind from hearing the stories. From the stories Lydia had us pick certain words or a phrase and start to create movement to go with that phrase. I tried to find a rhythm in my phrase before moving. That helped me a lot. Although I still think my movement imagination is a bit limited. The exciting thing is how that will change in the next month. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to next Wednesday.