SALOME, DANCE FOR ME
Premieres August 2015
CURRENT ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
trixxie carr is writing and developing Salome, Dance For Me, an original glam-rock solo musical adaptation of Richard Strauss’ opera and Oscar Wilde’s play, Salome. Her collaborators include NCTC Artistic Associate and Emerging Artist Alum Ben Randle as co-writer and director; celebrated emerging conductor Bob Mollicone co-composing the score; and award-winning choreographer and performance artist Monique Jenkinson serving as a dance dramaturg.
Artist in Residence trixxie carr and her collaborators will be giving an inside look at the process of creating Salome, Dance For Me, with written reflections, pictures, and videos chronicling their journey.
Keep checking back and follow the project all the way from the first days of writing, through exploration and staging, all the way to the stage, in August 2015!
(pronounced blog-uh-may, and sung to a tune which someday you may know)
"Studio Provisions" - The team begins revisions based on feedback and ideas from the WIP Presentation
FEB 9, 2015:
OK. Some people some of the time got some things that I was hoping they would from the as-is, terrifyingly not finished piece I just threw at them. TAKE THAT! I'm lucky to have wonderful artist friends that can give feedback! IE: 'who were you?' at given points, or 'I was confused'. Amongst all the support and praise for the music I've written so far and the concepts, I'm realizing that I need to 'dumb down' this piece and THEN reach back for the deep themes. I need to simplify for a minute and then build back up I think. Drag wins again. Clarity of the story needs to come first, because even I am not sure how I am telling it, and I want that to be clear. Then I can reach for the stars, as it were. I gotta get grounded in these characters and part of it will be balancing actor and musician and writer. Like the characters, I can't be all of them at once.
well, that's not true. I can be, but I cannot show that and be clear about who I am at the same time. or at least not yet.
...hmm...actually...could I be like a spinning Wurlitzer of identity that can slow down to show individuals and speed up to show their unified being?
"Headed for WIP Presentation" - Scenic Design research Scenic Designer Maya Linke on the rehearsal wall for rehearsals for the Work-In-Progress Presentation for invited guests.
DEC 13, 2014:
I think I need to change EVERYTHING. This piece makes no sense. Maybe it should not make sense. How do you know when something is surreal enough or not surreal enough? FOF. (fear of failure). I'm gonna show it to a bunch of people now as-is and see what happens.
trixxie exploring choreography for "Moon Intro" during the Design and Movement Workshop.
JULY 16, 2014:
We have moved forward in many directions, one of which is text from Wilde, and continue to feel our way towards a piece that respects the play, the opera, the visual art it has inspired, and the pieces of film/theatre/etc. that we have seen paying homage to the original work. But this one will be ours, and if you have seen anything we (Ben or I, or especially together) have done before, then you know how fiercely we will dance with this project, and that the battle for awesomeness has officially been waged with the universe of creation! If not, welcome! Here we go!
July 7, 2014 - trixxie working during the Design and Movement Workshop.
"Phase 2 begins!" - Visual research for Design and Movement Workshop.
JULE 2, 2014:
The next phase involved moving to our new music, with Fauxnique (Monique Jenkinson), a fellow faux queen and body movement mistress, joining us to facilitate movement and storytelling. "Tell the story without words", she said, and I realized after attempting to do this exercise that some of this story is much much easier to 'tell' than other parts of it. How do you body-tell about obsession, rejection, lust, love, power, hunger, zealotry, fear? How especially when you have reduced your project down to only you onstage? This is a one-woman piece, but I want to address more than Salome on her own. There is only me onstage to argue with, to show you, to explain…this is not 'normal', and yet it is not my goal to create a performance-art style piece either…I want to tell you a story, but I do not know how to yet, so that you can really understand…so that you can join me, and fully understand me, without being inside of me or losing yourself. So that I can do that with others. So that we can be separate and yet together, and escape, and yet exist here. Is it possible at all? Is that theatre? Is that the truest time-travel we have ever known, this storytelling?
This is a very deep abyss that we look into, as so many others have before. And what will our experience with it be?
May 18, 2014 - Demo songs imported into iTunes, between Sade and Scissor Sisters. Perfect.
May 14, 2014 - trixxie writes lyrics at her computer, while Ben drafts up the budget.
"Logic with logic" - trixxie and co-composer Bob Mollicone hard at work.
MAY 5, 2014:
The first phase of this project began with me learning the themes of the opera from Bob, and listening. This inspired me to want to steal and play with these themes, and much jamming ensued, with Bob at the piano or typing into my computer (using Logic) so that I could loop direct note patterns, or add to them or play on top of them, or sing to them. Chord progressions, Salome's trill, the words sung - everything was/is an option to play with, so that was what we did, and at least seven pieces of music (we called them demos, for they are still rough drafts of songs) came out of that collaboration.
"Inspiration #2: Richard Strauss' opera"
MAY 3, 2014:
Oh! Dear! I forgot to mention that there is an opera, written in German, by Strauss! Luckily, for beasts like me who never learned German in any school anywhere, there is Bob Mollicone of the SF Opera…
"The Studio" - Beginning the writing process by building our studio, with trixxie's computer and Bob's set-up at the piano. Two worlds collide: classical meets contemporary. Hopefully, just like Salome, Dance For Me!
MAY 2, 2014:
There is so much to be examined and chewed on and danced with and sung to in this piece of art. There is so much to say, so much to ask, that the idea of touching it at all is intimidating. I don't want to ruin the epic expansion of ideas inspired by this play by creating a piece based on it that limits the time or space it can reside in. I want to mix my own colours into the masterpiece and create a projection of it through my own filter, without taking it into a defined time, or too far into my own experience. Basically, it's exciting to work on this project because it is not an easy answer. What to do?
"Inspiration #1: Oscar Wilde's play" - First day of Phase 1 begins!
MAY 1, 2014:
I will tell you a story…A little while back Ben Randle and I went to school together, and danced many dances of drag in the night hours between the theatre classes we took by day. One of these classes that I took was called 'Dangerous Liaisons', and was a course that combined theatre and music and I think English…the point was to examine operas that involved seduction, such as Don Giovanni, and although I had been determined to take the Faust version of this class, it was spring and I had already officially walked with Ben and my friend Stanley and others that I should have graduated with (thinking I had completed all my credits), and found myself needing 6 units of miscellaneous credits to actually receive my BA and be done with this part of my formal education. So 'Dangerous Liaisons' it was!
While in this class, we examined 'Salome', and I bought my book: (see? there I used a semi-colon correctly, proving that I know how to use them, and so that you know, dear reader, I could have graduated without the sophomore english class I had to literally cry tears of fear to get into, but I digress, having read extensive philosophy and long-winded existentialist rants, I too, have become a gratuitous comma user, and I am just *slightly* bitter about having to go back and take units when I could've been tested and shown that I did not require the learning provided) an oversized paperback that looked more like a colouring book than a play, with uncoloured (yes, I use the British version of words like colour and glamour because I am colorful and glamourous!) drawings by Aubrey Beardsley that I immediately knew I would enjoy for years and years to come. In fact, this volume went 'missing' for some years while it resided with first Stanley, if I am correct, and then with Mr. Randle as well, since it is quite lovely and should be shared... The words on the pages to the left of the drawings, written first in french by Oscar Wilde and then translated to English for beasts like me who only took French in high school, looked quite like poetry, and they read and sounded aloud that way as well. And the play was all about a young girl who is seen as selfish and ferocious and impetuous, and the world she seduces and then attacks, a world of power struggles and idealism, which seduces and attacks her as well, and characters trapped in their own agendas, under an ever changing, ever watching, ever far away and yet revealing, and reflecting, moon.
I love/d it.
It, to me, was, and continues to be, high fetish literature.