In December 2017, the DAPpers traveled to Central Falls High School to rehearse with the Central Falls students for the first time. This rehearsal was the first time the spirit and horse parts were combined in this rendition of Ecce Etude, which is exciting progress in the process! The DAPpers and Central Falls students spent some time getting to know each other, and then warmed up together before jumping into the choreography (as seen in the middle picture below). Dancing together for the first time allowed both groups to better understand how they would fit together in the space and how their characters interact. This was also the first time this piece was rehearsed with a mixed seated and standing population!
After dancing together, the DAPpers and Central Falls students split into small groups to reflect about their experience. As you can see from the left and right pictures above, both groups were very enthusiastic about the experience of dancing together and enjoyed sharing their mutual experience during their time together. It was great for both populations to get to know who they would be dancing with before the day of the show. In the past, the performance day was the first time they met. By changing to allow the different groups to work together throughout the process, it gives all the dancers a chance to really get to know each other and understand both how their parts interact and collaborate in the piece, but also how they can relate to each other out of the context of the dance.
After rehearsing with the DAPpers, the Central Falls students began sometimes doing their warm-up in chairs to embody the experience of the DAPpers, as pictured below:
This is a great example of why the integration of these populations is powerful and important. The Central Falls students want to embody the DAPpers' process to understand their experience says a lot about the power of empathy through movement. By understanding the DAPpers' embodied experience of dance and Ecce Etude, the Central Falls students are forging a stronger and more empathetic relationship with them, further helping to bring these populations together.
The DAPpers and Central Falls students continued rehearsing together after this initial meetup. The Central Falls students traveled to the DAPpers rehearsal at Brown several times in early 2018, allowing them to continue to work together in the staging of this piece.