dancing Lives— Lara Seefeldt 2
Whim W’him rehearsals began last June on a few days notice for Lara Seefeldt.
The piece was CRAVE, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa‘s second premiere for the company.
And Lara found the experience a real challenge.
After our initial conversation, when I asked her in an email for three words she thought would best describe her, as a person and a dancer, Lara wrote,“There are really only two adjectives that I can think of that aptly describe me, and those would be focused and reserved. Though with my lack of ability to keep things on track lately they probably should be forgetful and mindless!” To that I would also add “honest.” As Lara had said that afternoon I first met her in a coffeeshop, “I was coming from a different place. The ‘Mom Brain’ is very real. The first week of reharsals were really intimidating. I was never the dancer who could pick up steps easily.” She paused and reiterated in her matter-of-fact way, “The first week was very hard, frustrating, disappointing.”
As a member of the cast of CRAVE, Lara’s unspoken task was to become an organic part of a Whim W’Him collective who had already been dancing together for some time.
“It is intimidating coming into not only a new piece with a choreographer that you have never worked with, but also as the new person in the group,” she remarks with her refreshing candor. “Though I had worked with Tory [Peil] before and known the others on a more social level there is always a little bit of anxiety in possibly disrupting the vibe and not really fitting in with the whole group in the studio.”
Furthermore, Annabelle (as I have noticed watching her in action), “works at a lightning pace. She generates so much movement.” For Lara it was no easy task, feelng the other dancers and learning to take on and express the rhythms and emotions of the new piece.
“CRAVE is different for me mostly in the quality of movement that [Annabelle] is asking of us. Most of my professional experience has been either strict ballet or with a company where the movement is contemporary but the vocabulary is balletic. She was asking us to not disregard our classical training but step outside of it and focus more on the way a a gesture felt or see the way a movement resolved itself when initiated from different parts of the body. That was definitely a new way of working for me.”
And yet, Lara adds with a wide grin, “I have never been so happy to be with a group that works!” During the second week, especially as Annabelle rehearsed a duet for her and Lucien Postlewaite, Lara got a feeling for what was wanted.
Now she is excited and optimistic about her affiliation with Whim W’Him, alongside other new Whimmers. She is looking forward to this coming week—when she will be learning a comical part in The Sofa—Whim W’Him artistic director’s Olivier Wever‘s piece from Grand Rapids Ballet Company, and to the next round of rehearsals for the January 2013 program.
What’s up next? Notes on rehearsals of The Sofa, a look at a few of the artists contributing work to Out On A Whim #4, and profiles of more of the company’s talented new dancers: Kyle Johnson, Mia Monteabaro, and Amber Willett!
About the Author Victoria Farr Brown
I am a writer, mostly of fiction, based in Seattle, and a long-time lover of dance.
Behind the Scenes focuses on WhimW’Him—Olivier Wever’s dance company, formed in 2009 and now affiliated with Intiman Theatre—its projects, artists, and whatever ideas, whimsical or otherwise, occur to me in the course of watching the company grow.
Bottom two photos by BambergFineArt.com