Dance Me Please Play Me

An experience designed for theater and dance venues. Four choreographed and musical solos created freehand around shared childhood memories.

Twelve people on stage stand in a line on the horizon: four citizens, four dancers, four musicians. There is a microphone on a stand stage right. There are all kinds of instruments stage left. In the center, a dance floor. As the audience comes in, they get ready, they warm up, they exchange a few words and greet those who sit in the tiers. 

A lighting designer has prepared a range of lighting moods: clearly defined atmospheres that are distinct from one another. There are smoke machines and electric fans backstage. 

Once the audience is seated, the MC briefly outlines the creative process of Dance Me Please Play Me. 

Three baskets each containing four notes. First basket: citizens. Second basket: dancers. Third basket: musicians. The first name of each participant is written on a note. 

By drawing three tickets at random, the first citizen/dancer/musician trio is composed.

Once the trio is formed, the first citizen recounts a childhood memory. The artists take notes as the story unfolds.

For five minutes the dancer, musician, and light designer work together in public to compare their intuition and ideas and come up with a framework for the improvisation to come. Each artist shares a sketch of the next step with the others. They can experiment, with the lights up, like a rough draft in full sight. When the five minutes are up, the artists gather and the improvisation begins. 

The shared memory is translated, transposed and evoked in danced movement by the dancer with lighting chosen by the light designer and music improvised by the musician. Improvisation can last from three to ten minutes. It may involve the other artists on stage, if the dancer wishes.

From trio to trio, the creation is free, exposed, raw.