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Moving Mountains

Professional modern dancers tend to be pretty used to a lot of physical contact; non-dancers, not so much. Everyone on stage at the Lobero Monday night got to push past their inhibitions as we worked together to create a mountainous landscape out of human bodies. The concept, Larry explained, was to build a hiking trail out of bodies so that one petite female dancer could 'hike' across our backs, assisted by two supporters.

We tried all kinds of formations: hunching shoulder-to-shoulder with our hands on our knees and our heads facing the audience, turning sideways and hugging our neighbor around the waist, crouching low to the ground with our feet tucked beneath us. After many unsuccessful attempts, Larry abandoned the concept for the evening, cheerful as always. We didn't move mountains, but we certainly got friendly with one another.

Rehearsal moved on to new sections of the dance, including a ridiculously fun towel-surfing exercise, and then to a Bird Refuge-inspired ballet, complete with long-necked geese and fluid ensemble movement. For the first time, members of the company stepped forward to teach a short section of modern dance choreography--a thrill for some, and an anxiety producing moment for others.

The whole group applauded the arrival of Lars, the first real California surfer dude to join the cast and a definite asset to the group--let's face it: we've been faking all our surfing moves thus far.

The group is beginning to feel less like a random collection of community members and more like a company--our affection for one another seems to grow with each rehearsal spent together. Even the inevitable friction that results from group process--the 'No, that's not how we did it last time,' and 'I thought you were supposed to wait until the fourth six to start!'--feels more like good-natured bickering between siblings than actual rivalry. We may be a company of amateurs, but we're a company all the same.

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