The Road to City Center

MCB has been invited to New York City Center to make our debut in the 2010 Fall for Dance festival. The Company returns to City Center after a critically acclaimed, triumphant debut in 2009. The dancers will perform Twyla Tharp’s energetic “The Golden Section” on September 28th and 29th. Fall for Dance, running September 28th – October 9th, 2010, will showcase 20 dance companies and choreographers from across the United States and around the world.

Corps de ballet member Sara Esty will be one of the dancers traveling to New York for the debut. She will be keeping a digital diary on MCB Blog as we follow her on the road to City Center! Her first few entries touch on the early stages of rehearsals.

MCB’s Road to City Center – by Sara Esty

I have always loved dancing and performing Twyla Tharp’s pieces. From In the Upper Room, to Push Comes to Shove, she is constantly challenging her dancers’ brains and pushing their boundaries. That is what I find so fascinating about it: it feels impossible when you first learn it, but by the time you get around to performing it, it feels almost natural to you. When I first learned “The Golden Section”, I thought to myself “Seriously? I’ll never be able to do this.” Not only did I surprise myself, but it is now one of my favorite things to perform. Dancing her works is such a gratifying and self fulfilling experience, one that I wish every dancer could experience and feel. Because honestly, you have got to feel it to believe the power of it.

June 7, 2010
The first day back to work is always a bittersweet one. This particular layoff was exactly what everyone needed: short but sweet, 4 nice weeks of rest and relaxation. I walked into the studios feeling refreshed and ready for whatever might be up on that bulletin board. There was a memo from company manager Abram Best that caught my attention…It explained to us that we would be taking Twyla Tharp’s “The Golden Section” to NYC this September and would be performing it in New York City Center’s Fall for Dance festival. How exciting!! To be included in such a large festival is definitely an accomplishment for our company. Crista Villella (our ballet mistress who primarily handles all of Twyla’s works here) had been in touch with Twyla, who showed much interest in being included to make the piece its best. Crista sent DVDs to Twyla of our performances of the piece, and she in turn offered her corrections and advice. So the cast got to work, taking her criticisms and applying her knowledge. I could feel the energy growing from everyone; just knowing Twyla wanted to help and be a part of it was enough motivation for everybody!

June 17, 2010
Today is our first progression filming of Golden Section to send to Twyla. I know everyone is a little nervous, and I can feel the tension in the room. I am freaking out just a little bit! Even though most of us got to work with Twyla a few years ago on her world premiere of “Nightspot” (choreographed on MCB), she is still such a big deal to all of us. We want to do her piece justice, and to make her proud of her work. Here goes nothing!

June 24, 2010
Phew!! Twyla was pleased with our progress. She sent an email to Crista, who read it aloud to us. “Good job, Crista. Already so much better.” Thank goodness…she went on and broke down the piece for specifics. It was so interesting to hear her take on things, and exactly what she wants from certain parts. This is already such an incredible experience; I have always admired her and her philosophies of dance. Elaine Kudo (who used to be one of Twyla’s dancers) is here setting another one of her pieces on us for the upcoming 2010-2011 season (Baker’s Dozen), and has offered to help with the corrections.

Stay tuned!

(Photo by Leigh-Ann Esty)