Dancer Sarah Fregeau offers an insider’s perspective on how Split Screen Stereophonic was developed in the rehearsal studio. Sarah dances Split Screen Stereophonic alongside Benjamin Kamino, Sahara Morimoto, and Sean Ling.
The material for Split Screen Stereophonic began with Sahara and I creating solo sequences that we later transformed into duets with our male partners. To generate the movement, Peggy gave us words and short phrases to use as a starting point. These ranged from clear physical instructions, such as “bring two parts of your body together,” to more qualitative suggestions like “stroke” or “thread.” We were free to create whatever kind of movement these words inspired in us and, piece-by-piece, we built phrases of choreography.
I really love this way of creating movement. I like to be given quite a bit of freedom in creation and this way of working was so open, but still gave us very clear impulses to work from. The use of such descriptive words gave the movement a sense of intention and richness right from the start. It was also interesting to see how another dancer interpreted the same instructions; when the phrases are danced side by side they give the impression of two women’s inner worlds running along similar paths. The movement is completely different yet the tone is the same.
After creating these solo phrases together, Sahara and I started working separately with our partners, incorporating the men into the sequences and molding them into duets. When we eventually brought both duets into the studio at the same time, it was exciting to feel how the dynamic between Ben and I was changed by dancing alongside Sahara and Sean. Even though there is no direct interaction between the two duets, I almost feel as if I’m a part of two dances, being aware of my own partner’s movement, our interaction, and how it coincides with or contrasts the experience of the other couple. I look forward to seeing how this awareness will deepen as we continue working, and how it will affect our own choices.
Split Screen Stereophonic premieres on February 27 as part of Stereophonic. Ticket and booking information is available at peggybakerdance.com.