Special #3260

Creating the Show

3 min - Special
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Take a look behind the scenes of our Dancing Through Contrology performance that was presented at the 2017 PMA Conference in Palm Springs, California. We learn about the how the project came together and what the collaborative process was like between Pilates Anytime, the Kenneth Walker Dance Project, and DJ Black Rabbit.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Nov 29, 2017
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I'm Gia Calhoun, and I work for Pilates Anytime, and I'm also a dancer with the Kenneth Walker Dance Project. At Pilates Anytime, we felt it was really important to bring dance, music, and Pilates together to celebrate and support the arts. Hi, I'm Kenneth Walker, Artistic Director of Kenneth Walker Dance Project. We are a contemporary ballet company based in Los Angeles. We live between the edges of ballet and modern dance.

We got involved with Pilates Anytime because one of our dancers is involved with the organization. The folks over at Pilates Anytime saw us perform a few times and really liked what they saw and decided to bring us on board. This project was inspired by the fact that it's been 50 years since Joseph Pilates passed away, and we wanted to honor his legacy through movement. This particular dance, we looked at some of the history of Mr. Pilates and what he went through to birth the method. And we were looking at finding ways of not being so pedantic about telling the story, but trying to say it in an abstract form and working with DJ Black Rabbit and having him bring us music and sort of bounce ideas back and forth.

And what we could do really inspired where the dance was going to hit. The creation of the tracks was really a team effort. We had a lot of meetings and a lot of back and forths to kind of decide what type of music we were trying to fit for each track. So basically we took the classical music that's going on throughout the whole show, and we kind of introduced it with different genres of music from the different decades. I think starting from the 40s or 50s on up to today.

I come from a hip hop background, and hip hop has a lot to do with sampling. So for me, sampling that classical music wasn't really a big deal. I'm used to doing that for hip hop production. What was kind of new for me was kind of making these other fusions kind of collaborate with that classical music. Joseph worked with a lot of dancers and many of the first generation teachers were dancers.

So there's always been a connection between dance and Pilates, even if it wasn't necessarily created for dancers. So we thought it was a good fit to have a dance show as a tribute to Joseph Pilates. When I DJ, I'm usually there to make people dance. So, music, DJ, and dancing, it all really makes sense when you think about it. The most challenging aspect of creating anything in a collaborative way is also the most rewarding so that everyone involved sees their artistic vision through and yet is able to compromise enough to engulf the others' process so that everybody gets something out of it and yet nobody's voice is lost.


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