I've been a non-dancer participant at the Whitney Biennial's Michael Clark residency for a full two weeks now and boy, am I tired! Together, open, turn, step, is the mantra for my new life as a world-famous dance sensation.
It's been a fairly fun experience for the most part. I've met a bunch of interesting people and have pushed my body in ways I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to go. The contrast between the real dancers and the civilians is so marked, it's like we're a bunch of hippos thundering through the gazelles. Yesterday a seven-foot tall man in toe shoes was prancing beside me, doing the same moves as I was—on his tippy toes—yet looking about one-thousand percent more graceful.
However, there are some Nomi Malones in the group who fully believe that this is their star turn. One of them actually looked me up and down, then turned away after I had the audacity to say hi. These types horn in on other people's rehearsal times, push themselves to the front of the group so Michael can better gaze upon them, and in general, act like divas. Hi, my fat ass is being paid the same amount as yours—nada. Sigh.
Today is our first dress rehearsal (very unexciting—black t-shirts and leggings), and tomorrow is our first performance. I have my fingers crossed that they decide to nix the supersonic-speed situp situation from the number because we look like a bunch of flailing windmills when we do that.
Unlike the non-dancers at the Tate show, we aren't having a whole lot of contact with Clark and his company. Mostly we're trained by a group of extremely patient and talented NYU dance students. When he does come around, Michael Clark does seem very sweet and soft spoken—he relies on his stage managers to do the yelling. And by "yelling" I mean politely telling us what to do in slightly raised tones because he's a bit of a mumbler. Everyone who works for him is very nice, which is a relief. Yesterday he warned some of us that we might want to bring some socks or slippers to wear backstage because it can get cold. Ayway, here's hoping I don't fuck up too badly!