Monday, December 6, 2010

Building Momentum for MOMENTUM

What does it take to put together a show like MOMENTUM? Dance, percussion, dance, rhythm, live music… did we mention dance?

Mayumana went through an intense, rigorous rehearsal process for their splashy new show, so we asked Eylon Nuphar (of NYC and Israel), Silvia Garcias De Ves (Spain) and Michael Feigenbaum (Switzerland) to divulge the nitty gritty specifics of their rehearsal regimen.

Street in Old Jaffa, Israel. Photo: RonAlmog
Since MOMENTUM has a cast that hails from almost every corner of the globe, rehearsal started with the basics: Go to Israel. Eylon explains: “Once found, we gathered all the cast members, new and old, and began the rehearsal process in Tel Aviv. Those who live abroad (most of the original cast of MOMENTUM) lived by Jaffa Port in great housing with a salty swimming pool, …surrounded by the beautiful sites of Old Jaffa.” Michael summed it up a bit nonchalantly: “Mayumana takes great care of the artists in the company.” What an understatement, Michael! It sounds like a great place for creative energy to percolate…

Once rehearsal started, that was when the really hard work began. Eylon details what the company’s days were like:
Our rehearsal days were split into:
1) Things we wanted to teach and/or things we wanted to research and create
2) The maintenance and building of the actors - which included a Pilates class twice a week, classical ballet training twice a week, a few rhythm classes and a few vocal classes. [It also included] treatments and special movement classes directed by cast members themselves, based on their diversity and different backgrounds.
Silvia, the rehearsal director, worked hard to build a balanced schedule: “From day one we learned the best way to schedule our intense rehearsals, including warm-up and Pilates classes, vocal lessons, movement and rhythm sessions … we found the balance between the long work days and socializing through barbecues and get-togethers with older cast members.”

However, don’t let the barbecues and salt water swimming pools fool you! These artists are really athletes;  they push their bodies to the limit in order to achieve perfection. Silvia notes that the process can be “quite intense mentally” and hopes for some more time in Israel in the future: “I really enjoy visiting Israel, but keep waiting for the time I get to visit for a vacation instead of work!”

Michael’s take on the rehearsal process is blunt, but perhaps the most inspiring: “The most important aspect of preparing for such a rigorous schedule is making the decision in your head that you’re gonna enjoy every minute of it. All the rest comes naturally as a result of your decision. Feeling perpetually tired, having muscle aches and maintaining the right diet make up only a small part of what it takes to be a professional performer.”

We’re looking forward to an awesome show with this dedicated cast. Look out for them on the street – who knows, instead of laps in the pool, you might see them on a morning run to the New Vic! Hopefully, you’ll see their love of life in person! Here’s a taste: watch the trailer for MOMENTUM here. MOMENTUM performs at The New Victory December 3 - January 2.

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