Choreographers Corner- Trolley Dances 2015: Mark Haim

Trolley Dances 2015: Catch the Rapid is already shaping up as a colorful year! Mark Haim_Brace Evans photoSeattle-based choreographer Mark Haim just spent the last week here, rehearsing intensively with his Trolley Dances cast. The whimsical piece he created in just five days is one you really won’t want to miss! Mark recently set his critically acclaimed “This Land is Your Land” on a group of San Diego dancers for youTurn Live Arts, and after falling in love with the work, Jean invited Mark to participate in this years Trolley Dances!  He just made his way back home, and took some time to reflect on site-specific work and his experience in San Diego for our blog!

What is your past experience with site-specific work?
I’ve only done two site-specific works before. My first was at the American Dance Festival in 1995 in a field of grass and my second was at the Centro Cultural Las Condes in Santiago, Chile in 1996 in an outdoor columned and covered passageway.

TRolley Dances 2015, photo by Jim CarmodyTell us a little bit about your site.
It was odd, but when I looked at my site, I just had this feeling that a dance needed to exist there.
How has the site/cast helped to shape the dance?
The cast is fabulous! Both the site and the cast pointed towards duets. I came up with a series of written instructions in duet form and the dancers filled in the instructions with their own movement solutions. Then I arranged their material into a piece.
What is it like to make a site-specific dance in only 1 week?
I  liked being at the site on consecutive days. I liked getting to know it more and more, and getting to know some of the people who “live” at the site year round.
What interests you about site-specific dance?
The following paradox: dance, the most ephemeral of art forms, becomes indelibly linked to a location once it exists there (for those who have witnessed it). That does not necessarily happen in theaters.
Trolley Dances 2015 rehearsalShare your most memorable moment of the process so far.
This older couple walking through (very slowly) our site during rehearsal one day. The way they walked, the way they held each other, we all just stopped what we were doing and watched them.

We can’t wait to see it! Join us on September 26/27, or October 3/4 and Catch the Rapid!

Photos: (top, Mark Haim by Brace Evans) (middle, Trolley Dances 2015 rehearsal by Jim Carmody) (bottom, Trolley Dances 2015 rehearsal by Julio Velazquez)

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