Daniel Madoff

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Do you remember how he would work with spacing?
There was one time when he had three people set up in different places doing this very slow, stagnant movement. He had people crossing through, and it wasn't working out. He just said, "You come in from here, you come in from here," and then you worked it, and it wasn't working out. This was his move. He went like this: Fingers fluttering by his temple. And he said, "Okay, I'll tell you when to go." He thought about it for a second. This person, "Go." "Go." "Go. And it worked out. I don't know how he did it. It was just like a moment of genius. He just knew when to start them. And the phrases were not continuous. He knew how to maneuver it. It was really impressive. I think also sometimes he'd just put you in the space to see what would happen. But also, there were times when I think he had it divided very specifically.

I just wish I knew what he was looking for, or when something worked, why did it work?
Maybe it was just something that excited him. The thing is, he was always looking. There were times when we were doing things on the side and they ended up kind of in the choreography, and you couldn't prove it one way or the other. There was one time I remember—and I'm pretty sure about this—when he was saying something to me, and I kept doing this, "uh-huh, uh-huh" and jerking my head up. I don't know why, I had like a tic or something. He started the movement and everything started like that.

Oh my God! Did that make it into a dance?
Yeah. It was eyeSpace 40 . I have no way of proving that that was the case, but I think it was.

It's interesting to talk to dancers right now—smack in the middle of this weird experience.
It's funny though. I'm refusing to talk to you about right now. Have you noticed? My mind, when I try to think about it, pulls a blank. I'm really trying to figure out why that is. Sometimes I have a really tough time in rehearsals, and then we perform, and it just makes everything so much better.

So you feel free in performance?
I feel free and when my body is functioning the way I want it to; actually it's about my mind. Because sometimes I get onstage and my mind is fuzzy. Generally when I don't dance in the morning, everything is very, very fuzzy for me all day long. But if I can get onstage and my mind can be clear and I can just let go and enjoy the performance...

Are the performances feeling different?
I'm a lot freer in all things. I think it's good. I mean, I'm looking around me, too. Silas and I have very different styles of dancing, but there's something about the way he just attacks the shit out of things that I try to maybe incorporate sometimes. Not all the time. And then there's Rashaun's cool, even keel that I like, and Jamie just devours space. There's something about everybody. I try to jump like Dylan. The suppleness in John's upper back, Emma's serenity, Marcie's stability. Andrea's generosity of spirit. I'm with a good group of people. I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I think I do.
Okay. [ Laughs ] That's good.

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