Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making Monsters

by Rose Abramoff

I have always been a bottom. Let me explain, because being a bottom in dance is like being a top in life. When I was a little girl, I was actually a fairly big girl (not like child obesity big, just, you know, AMERICA big). As a big little girl dancer, I was always the one lifting people. I would even lift the boys, who in their adolescent bodies were scrawnily easy to pick up. Even though I am normal sized now, the empowering effect of dance lifting makes me feel safe....like if we got in a fight, I could totally take you down....or at least pick you up. By the time I got to college I was a lifting machine. I could throw a lithe ballerina-type person over my head any way you like: right side up, upside down, sideways, one leg over here, one leg over there, shaped like an octopus, whatever. Sometimes I would help the boys (uh, is this right? yeah, bro, now put some MUSCLE IN IT). I wish I could give everyone two tickets to my gun show, but I've never grown big arm muscles. I just balance people over my spine as best I can, lift with my legs, and try not to freak out.

So it's lucky (or maybe planned) that the piece I'm dancing in, Sirens, involves a lot of lifting. We are making multi-person monsters. Some of these monsters are very sexy indeed - big and sexy. To accomplish the big part we are climbing on top of each other. In the first five minutes of working with Luminarium I learned to lift my partner Hannah with her feet on my hands and throw her over my head, flip her back on her feet and then pop her back up in the air again. In the next five minutes I learned to do this in the dark. There may have been a $0.65 keychain light to guide my way. No big deal, starting off easy. Then we invented some never before seen lifts of epic (poem) proportions. Some are epic fails and others are epic successes. 

Dances are just like sausages: wonderful, but you don't want to see them get made. To be a good lifting partner, you can't wear loose clothing, so we have to stuff ourselves into tight wrappings (like sausages). During the rehearsal, we have to occasionally scrape ourselves off the floor (like sausages). But in the end, I hope the dance will be meaty and satisfying (like sausages)!

Come see Rose perform the "Sirens" piece in Mythos:Pathos. Learn more and buy tickets here: www.luminariumdance.org/buy-tickets 

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