Friday, December 12, 2014

The Hunt Evolution

The fire video I just posted today was recorded at a live performance at the 2014 Kansas City Renaissance Festival. It's of our "Fight/Hunt" choreography...or, should I say, the most recently evolved version of that choreography. One of the fun things about working together for so many years, and working with the some of the same pieces for so many years, is that we get to keep refining those pieces and exploring the possibilities of how they can evolve. This is our most perfect example.

Back when I was in art school, in 2009, I conceptualized this piece for my Fiber Art class. I was to be the Prey, and Cyricx was to be the Predator.  I designed costumes of linen, leather, wood, stone, and bone (actually the inspiration for the title of this blog). 

Me in the Prey outfit
Photo by Pseudography Image Forge
Cyricx in the "Predator" outfit
Photo by Pseudography Image Forge

We went out to a remote campground with plenty of trails and clearings in the woods, and recorded the first version of "The Hunt."

I danced around lightly, blithely unaware of the predator stalking my every move, until his first attack reveals him! It then becomes a chase - a Hunt - until he captures me at last. Clearly there wasn't much choreographed here - we had a couple of joint moves planned to points in the music (E Muzeki's "MacSuibhene's Trill"), and everything in between was freestyle.

Funny thing was, it was in mid-November, and it was below freezing outside. In these outfits, well, there's no way to wear anything underneath them...ahem...ANYTHING. Cyricx and I had only been dating for a couple months at this point, and maybe it was his willingness to go through this cold hell for my wacky project idea that proved to me that he loved me! (It truly was miserable.)

Then, we wanted to take this piece to the stage at KCRF, with the Sonic Sidhe Tribe. At first, it was only a little more developed than that night in the woods. Performance with the Sonic Sidhe Tribe at KCRF 2009:

And then we structured it more, and explored a more sensual side. Performance with the Sonic Sidhe Tribe, at KCRF 2010 Pubsing:


 In 2012, as we were developing Tricks of the Light to be its own stage show, we were exploring using this choreography as part of a dramatic storytelling set. For the story, we needed to have a fight before the Hunt portion, which introduced the section in the beginning before Viollca pulls out the fire fans. The story set was a flop out at the RenFest, but we immediately adjusted our entire show and turned it into a comedy. During the rest of the RenFest season, as improv onstage and interaction with the audience happened, the latest version of "The Hunt" was developed. Performance as Tricks of the Light, at KCRF 2014:

From the beginning, "The Hunt" has transitioned from being an artistic 'interpretive dance' style piece, to a non-interactive showcase piece, to a sexy and sensual "seduction", to a dramatic fight scene, and lastly to playful comedy. We have had a lot of fun with it, and it's still one of our favorite pieces to perform! I hope you like it as much as we do.