Katharine Hawthorne and Erin Malley were selected as resident artists for SFCD’s inaugural Choreographic Residency. They have each contributed some thoughts about their experience. Read Erin’s below and Katharine’s HERE.
SENSE OF TIME – Erin Malley
The dancers must have thought I was insane at several points in the process. Some weeks, I would come in with tools like scooters, and a little statue of Loreley. Other weeks, I would “be a royal bitch” (to quote Elizabeth) to help everyone find how deep they could go in terms of performance. But what remained constant for me was the pursuit of the main character, and what kinds of words or tools I could use as a director to bring her to life.
The other challenge (and simultaneous pleasure) is that all of the students signed up to work with me on this film that is about one person. Exquisitely ironic. As I’ve been used to working with small casts, at first I didn’t know how to work with larger groups. At times I’ve wanted and needed to focus in on just one or two people, which has served me and the students well. But importantly, I’ve learned how to expand my focus beyond one or two subjects, to perceive more around me as I shoot. Another important thing I’ve learned how to do during my residency is give one simple task for the day and then ride the energy of the room.
Following my residency, I want to continue workshopping more ideas for this film, and expanding my rough cut. I’m not yet ready to write a formal script, but perhaps thanks to the structure of the residency (with rehearsals happening each week) this piece has been coming together more like a dance – through trials and tests and shooting and looking. I’m interested in continuing to work along these lines during the summer and find more physical ideas before I commit the whole thing to paper. It’s asking to be a feature length film. So it looks like I’ve got plenty of work cut out for me!