The Impulse Wants Company: In Rehearsal with Troy Schumacher & the BalletCollective….
I was recently invited to a rehearsal for Troy Schumacher and the BalletCollective’s newest work, The Impulse Wants Company, at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. The Impulse Wants Company is a collaborative work between Mr. Schumacher, composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, poet Cynthia Zarin, and new music ensemble ACME. It was such a joy to be in a rehearsal setting again and to witness such fine dancers at work.
This new work will be premiered at the Joyce Theater for the Ballet 6.0 festival on August 14 and 15. The Joyce has designed this ballet festival to recognize the many dancers and choreographers who are creating work outside the traditional large company milieu and are forming their own small companies. Featured are companies from across the US, whose work represents a range of ballet styles, from neo classical to contemporary.
The Impulse Wants Company began as a narrative poem written over several months by poet Cynthia Zarin, Mr. Schumacher and the composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone. The words of the poem are meant to be seen as dance notation or musical notes that indicate possibilities as opposed to actual movement or sound. Once they arrived at a draft or a working version of the poem, the music was written and then, Mr. Schumacher began to choreograph the ballet.
Mr. Schumacher’s Neo-classical approach to the work is evident in his use of the body in space, in how he combines his steps and his applying those phrases to the music. The piece has a sense of playfulness as friends ran together, slapping hands as if glad to see one another.
The choreography had elements of waves as one dancer would execute a phrase of movement, another copies it and so forth, and then the whole would be reversed. It created a beautiful visual, like waves lapping a sandy beach. There were stops and starts as Mr. Schumacher consulted with the musicians as to timing and tempo for a particular set of steps. Taylor Stanley performed his solo in bits and pieces as his dancing and music was carefully synched. During this process lighting designer Brandon Baker would artfully try differing approaches to his schematic as to what could/would be the final result.
There are moments of simplicity, such as walking backward into the wings as the music swept in stirring moments of beauty. The imagery in the poem is one of motion, wind and grass bending, a dolphin slicing through the water, swimming in sunshine.
Mr. Schumacher reflects this imagery by abstractly incorporating the concept of that motion. A wave rising, a breeze felt, a shadow looming, they are all created by the joining of music and choreography.
Taylor Stanley’s solo held a mystery and developed with fast-paced virtuosity into wonderful leaps and awesome turns. His focus and change of direction was suggestive of the wind during a storm. His moves are effortless and he was beautiful to watch.
The fact that Mr. Schumacher informed us that this work is the product of only ten days in the studio was phenomenal. There is already such acuity of statement visible, that I cannot wait for the unveiling in August.
The Impulse Wants Company
August 14th, Wed @ 7:30pm
August 15th, Thurs @ 8pm
175 8th Ave @ 19th St.
New York, NY 10011
(Call JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 for $10 tickets. All other tickets can be purchased online.)