Site Specific Performance Manual

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Items to Bring to the Site:

            Layers of clothes
            Extra, dry clothing (especially socks)
            Waterproofed shoes
            Extra bottles of water
            Bug spray
            First aid kit (Benadryl, epi pen, ibuprofen)
            Nourishing food (granola bars, bananas)
            Notebook and pencils (for recording choreography, etc)
            Cell phones/walkie talkies

1. Water. Bring it, drink it – before, during, and after rehearsal.

2. The Choreographer should ask all of the dancers about your/their allergies and medical needs before on-site rehearsal.

3. Get a contact list of dancers’ and choreographer’s numbers.  Put all of the numbers into your cell phone.

4. Wear proper footwear for your dance and your environment. If it’s muddy, think about weatherproofing your shoes.

5. Be a family with your fellow dancers. Trust and communication are vitally important in this style of performance.

6. Do not let the presence of an audience, especially if they are in the way of the performance space, distract you from the piece or allow you to take yourself out of performance mode.

7. Be one with the site. Explore the site on your own. It is important to see the site as your own inspiration and vision rather a choreographic map.  See the visual elements of the space – lines, curves, shapes, relationships, textures.  What does the site evoke?  Sense the site.  Is there a history to this particular place?  Work with the physical limitations of the site.

8. Stretch for your task and terrain, not just for dance. Pay special attention to previously or currently injured areas.

9. Wear layers. Wearing layers is important because you can take them off depending on the temperature.

10. Never forget that off-site rehearsals are an option.

11. It is your job as a dancer to know the choreography and be adaptable to choreographic changes. Be prepared to remember all movement in rehearsals.

12. In site work, you may need to adapt on the spot to environmental changes and the will of the audience.

13. Remember the piece is never ruined, only changed.

14. Group and individual focus work and mental preparation is important before performance.

15. Trust your instincts.

16. Being mentally present in the site is crucial for physical safety.

17. If possible, run the piece with a test audience to help iron our potential complications, especially if the piece involves audience participation.

18. If the piece is dependent on a prop, have a spare or some sort of contingency plan.

19. If you are travelling to a site, figure in travel time.

20. Know your rehearsal schedule and always be on time.

21.  If possible, keep things low-tech to minimize the possibility of complications.

22. Know the space. The more familiar you are with the space, the easier it is to adjust.

23. In public/academic spaces, be sure not to be too disruptive.

24. The audience isn’t always in front of you.

25. Advertise clearly and early for your performance. Give easy-to-follow directions to the site.

26. Transitions between choreographed and improvised sections of dance must be thought through and rehearsed.

27. The time of day/quality of light will affect you physically and change the feeling of the piece.

28. Don’t let weather “ruin” the performance. It could, in fact, make it more powerful.

29. Be conscious of audience safety.

30. Plan, plan, plan…. And then let the performance take its course.

31. Be prepared to wear many hats. You may need to do more than simply dance your part to make the dance happen!