The hand motions of the four women in choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa‘s as yet untitled new piece, for Whim W’Him’s May show, grow out of her own distinctive gestures.* And the curious vocabulary being developed for these ladies is extended out to the very tips of their fingers, which are lengthened by 8 inch nails, fashioned from drinking straws. In today’s post the dancers describe their experience of creating this riveting new work.
At a pause in rehearsal, Tory Peil needs someone to bind up her hair, which falls in silky strands over her face. She can’t brush it away because of the nails, though she says she doesn’t even notice while dancing. Tory is fascinated by the new project the women of Whim W’Him have embarked upon. “This piece is much more dreamy and otherworldly than most of the works Whim has done in the recent past,” she says. “We get to be more creature-like in our quest to move like goddesses. It seems like a piece where the four of us ladies will start to develop our own story amongst ourselves. It won’t necessarily be an important story for the audience to know, but it will be how we create our own through lines, how we relate to each other from moment to moment.”
She is “excited to watch this piece get weirder and weirder as we make the movement more of our own way of speaking. Dancing with these ladies is one of my favorite things to do. It’s so new so it’s hard to describe.”
Apprentice/understudy Madeline DeVries finds that “Anabelle’s movement in this piece creates a feeling of confidence in me. And beyond that, I begin to feel powerful and even somewhat alluring in this feminine, Amazonian creature/goddess character. It was cool to watch