The trailer for the dance film I was a part of is now available. Check out the link here!
The first screening for the cast will be in the end of February, after which it will be released for viewings at film festivals.
The film is inspired by the photography of Francesa Woodman, and the title is taken from one of her artist's books. It is particularly relevant, as the central character in the film discovers water to be the element that is essential to her essence. I represented feathers, and other dancers represented sand, leaves, and mud. The central character experiments with each of these elements before discovering water to be an accurate "mirror" into her being.
The picture below is one I used to develop my character as the Huntress of Feathers.
Steven and I have been busy rehearsing the Grand Pas for this weekend's Nutcracker. We will be performing in Des Moines for Iowa Dance Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 17th at 2:00 and at 7:00, and on Sunday, Dec. 18th at 2:00.
A journalism student and friend of mine, Leah McClure, wrote a feature story and compiled video and audio tracks on my experiences in Nutcracker- Check out the full story here!
This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night I will be performing a solo entitled "You...but Better: A Girl's Guide to Getting Gorgeous" at the Graduate/Undergraduate Dance Concert. Read the press release here.
My piece was inspired by a very young woman I saw stumbling around downtown one weekend. Her skin-tight dress constricted her already teetering walk, causing her to fall more than once. A flood of thoughts entered my head, the primary one being a question of what compelled this young woman to go to such drastic measures to attain what she thought was beauty. It wasn't long after that when I began improvising in the studio and piecing phrases together for what eventually became a solo.
The show is diverse with all the choreography by students in the department. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see my piece realized with lights and costuming!
Tonight will be the second film shoot for an independent dance film I am a part of. The film is exploring the work of photographer Francesca Woodman, considered a photography prodigy until her untimely death in 1981. It has been a wonderful process so far, and I am extremely excited for the first screening in the spring after the film is finished with post-production work.
Last night Dance Gala 2011 opened at Space Place Theater in Iowa City. I am performing in Deanna Carter's Sueños, a premiere set to a collage of music. The show has a diverse range of pieces, including two pieces with live music, a premiere by Clebio Oliviera, and Trisha Brown's Set/Reset Reset. Click on the link for a press release, and browse through the photos- I am in a few of them!
I was thrilled to discover that a photograph of Steven and me performing Eloy Barragán's "Some Day" at the Latin Choreographer's Festival was selected for the cover of the September issue of DanceInforma. The photo was captured at the point in the duet where we spiral across the stage, me clinging longingly to Steven as he opens his arms. Check out the photo, and read the great review of the festival!
Highlights of the review: "A favorite, ‘Some Day’, choreographed by Eloy Barragan, and danced beautifully by Steven Gray and Jennifer Pray, blew me away. The pull between ‘Some Day’s’ softness and passion made you feel for the couple, clad in neutral, muted tones, during their times of loneliness and of harmony." http://www.danceinforma.com/USA_magazine/2011/09/01/the-latin-choreographers-festival/weeblylink_new_window
I just returned from a trip to New York, where I performed in the Latin Choreographers Festival. Steven Gray and I performed "Some Day," choreographed by Eloy Barragán. We had the chance to meet some great dancers and choreographers and loved being a part of the show. Check out these great reviews!
Highlights of the reviews~
"superb dancing by Jennifer Pray and Steven Gray..." (Oberon's Grove)
"Some Day by Eloy Barragan is as romantic as Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring and recalls that dance about young love. Jennifer Pray, dancing with Steven Gray, wins us over. Flying with effortlessness and musicality to Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, she offers new appreciation of the music. Even as she teeters walking on his back— we are there." (Reading Dance)
"Some Day, choreographed by Eloy Barragan and danced by Jennifer Pray and Steven Gray, told the story of lovers who seem to be dancing at cross purposes. They are dressed in gray which seems to demonstrate the limits on their relationship - it never manages to get going, let alone heat up. The movement in this dance was especially original, lyrical and lovely, as the dancers approach one another but never quite meet. It’s as if they can’t find each other. Maybe they exist in two different dimensions. Finally, they do come together in a kiss, and as they execute a turning lift, she is hanging on to him, but he is not holding her. Exquisite dancing by Pray and Gray." (Body Wrappers)
Tonight is opening night for the 2011 season of Dancers in Company, a touring repertory group at the University of Iowa. Our group of 12 dancers has been preparing since November to present the evening-length concert. The repertory ranges from modern to contemporary ballet. I will be performing in three of the seven pieces:
"Você Não Sabe Como Eu Te Amo," choreographed by Armando Duarte, is based on a Brazilian folk story about a young woman who was abandoned by her lover.
"The World and I," choreographed by New-York based French choreographer Julie Bour (see blog entry below).
"Some Day," a contemporary ballet duet choreographed by Eloy Barragán for myself and my partner Steven.
Our company is very excited to livestream the show on Friday, March 4th.
Click on this link to watch anywhere in the world! 8:00pm Iowa time:http://its.uiowa.edu/support/digitalmedia/dance.shtml
Although Nutcracker season has passed, the video is now available, so take a look!
Staged by George de la Peña, danced by Jennifer Pray and Steven Gray.
This past week, the members of Dancers in Company rehearsed every night with guest artist Julie Bour. Although we had a limited time frame, we were able to get the piece set. The piece will be featured in the shows in March, and includes athletically demanding choreography, acting, and interaction with props.
I had the opportunity to work with Julie two summers ago in NYC. She set a piece on the students at the Joffrey Ballet School that I was able to be in. I took her contemporary classes at Steps and at the Joffrey and even got to see a premier of her work. She is a great choreographer~ check out her website!
Thoughts on dance, creation, yoga, and performance.