Penelope Freeh

8 Tiny Dances

Posted by on Feb 04 2016, in Uncategorized

Tonight is dress rehearsal for Dido and Aeneas, co-sponsored by MacPhail Center for Music and the University of Minnesota’s School of Music. This is my pal David’s baby (he has organized it and is conducting), and I am so happy to be a small part of it. I am a sucker for all things baroque, maybe because it’s a word so close to broken.


But really, I like the decorative. I defy the resistance of the decorative in original dance. There is a place for it still, and I’m so tired of resisting. Reminds me of Jocelyn’s gorgeous music. She is unafraid to be unabashedly beautiful, and I find that to be so hopeful. Original art can absolutely show its derivations and wear its heart on its sleeve.


So tonight I perform 8 tiny dances. Some are more like performing tasks, but all aim to be essential to this great chamber opera. There are dance sections written in, thus my involvement, albeit last minute. (The last minute bit agrees with me given my proficiency for cramming and all my recent busyness.)


Despite the timeline, I am happy with what I’ve come up with. I have borrowed from myself for a couple sections and made some new stuff to specifically reflect the opera’s action. I both invade and stay out of the way. I am a witness, a mute narrator, a wisp. But even in rehearsal last night I felt my performing chops take hold. I feel all the upcoming stage time I will have, the most in a several-year span, and I at last recognize the pattern that my life laid out starting from about age thirteen. I am meant to do Dance, in all its facets, and it is not lost on me that I actually get to.