During week two of Charlotte Edmond’s residency, legendary choreographer and mentor Robert Cohan sat in on rehearsal and offered Charlotte his personal feedback. I spoke with Charlotte at the end of the week and here are some excerpts of our conversation:
Were you nervous about having your first audience?
I was excited to show the work and intrigued to know Robert Cohan’s thoughts. I was not nervous until I pushed the play button to start the music, that very second I felt really nervous.
Has there been a shift in your approach to choreographing with the dancers since you have had Robert’s feedback?
I feel that I am more involved with the dancers making movement instead of being on the outside. Robert suggested that when I am making partner work that I should put myself in and be the dancer so I can feel where the movement should go. This is a very different approach for me. I worked in this way today and it has really helped.
Did anything Robert say really resonate with you in particular?
I think what he said about the music was really important. He talked about the dancers not dancing to the music, instead, the dancers to be the strings and become the music so that the audience can hear the music not independently of the dance but to hear it through them. Even when the music is slow the music needs to vibrate through the dancers.
I think we all felt very honored and inspired by Robert Cohan spending time with us. I know that the dancers responded to what he said and our Professional Pathways participant Nickolas Kyprianou was excited to have the opportunity to meet Robert and absorb all that he said. Personally, I observed quite a shift in Charlotte’s approach to the choreography and the way she worked with the dancers the next day. There was a calmness, movement and ideas flowed and she didn’t seem to have any blocks, which she had experienced previously.