When I entered the Center of Contemporary Dance where the DRIP dance group was rehearsing, I saw a huge screen printing press in the middle of the dance studio. The idea behind the dance routine they were working on, was to use the screen printing press to print images of dancers on the cakes which were to be served for desert at a private event held in a gallery downtown.
After saying hi to Dave and Samantha, the two dancers I had met at a photo shoot the week before, I sat down to start sketching. The press had to be moved back away from the mirrored wall. Four dancers grabbed the press and moved it together as a unit. David said, “We are like an ant colony, yall!” When rehearsing the dance, Sam is in charge of pouring the inks onto the screens and the other dancers use squeegees to force the ink through the screens onto the cake. Afterward she asked, “So, do I have time to disperse the juices?” The response was, “Yes, you never want to disperse the juices to fast.”
Prior to another dance run through, Marika shouted out “Did you all hear what Christie was just saying? There are five different art forms going on in the room right now.” I started to wonder what those 5 art forms were. Obviously dance would have to be one. I was sketching, so that was two. Twanda had entered the studio and she was sitting in the far corner of the dance studio making adjustments to costumes, so that is three. Evan and Christie were painting signs among other things and Linda was making sure her choreography was on the mark. When the dancers worked “All out” Linda would shout at the top of her lungs thanking the dancer that was pushing the envelope.
During a break, David said “I am going to be dreaming about this unit.” Sam said “It’s so big.” David followed with “That’s what she said.” The group the dance troupe was to perform for is apparently rather conservative. For this reason none of the dancers could just wear skirts. Black tights had to be put on to cover their bare legs. While restoring , David shouted out “We have a vision here, You are not fulfilling it! Lets go people.” He is never serious and everyone always laughs. Maybe you had to be there to get his humor.
Mariko asked that the dancers go through the routine one more time this time using the inks. Drip rags were placed over the dancers heads and trimmed. Everything was going great up until the dancers got ink on their hands. Suddenly paint was flying everywhere and the dancers had to be stopped. The drips had flown well beyond the confines of the drop cloth placed under the press. Soon everyone was on hands and knees cleaning the dance floor. Mariko said “Well, at least we found this out now, rather than during the actual performance.” It was decided that this one performance would not need to have inks on the dancers themselves. The point was to make the printing of the cakes entertaining. They didn’t want paint flying onto peoples dinner tables silverware and plates.
The dance performance combined stretches of choreography with stretches of pure improvisation. The improvised segments were different each time and inspiring to watch. DRIP has its first performances at Blank Space TONIGHT October 15th at 8 and 10PM! Blank Space is at the corner of Roslind and Central right across from the Public Library. You can actually see the performers through the store front windows. DRIP will perform in Blank Space every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10PM.