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Summation Warriors: Julie McMillan & Erin Okayama
Summation Warriors: Julie McMillan & Erin Okayama

During the Q&A for last years’ Keep Your Feathers Dry, an audience member asked:  how do you prevent injuries with all of the falling movement?  I answered by saying that dancers are trained to manipulate parts of the body to make these movements look real.  For partnering, a lot is just trial and error.  Very rarely does someone actually get hurt.  Gearing up for this show, we must focus not only on the physical movement, but on intention and emotions as well – making everything look as real as possible.

But this past Saturday, we made things look too real.

In the piece, there is one section involving all of the dancers partnering in what we call, “the moving mass” (you’ll totally know what I mean next week).  It’s a section of unrelenting, subsequent movement where each dancer attempts to break free from the others.  I catch Erin on my shoulder, scurry to the back to pick up Allie, take a forceful step to the downstage and – WHAM.  The bridge of my nose to the crown of Erin’s head.

The confusion immediately afterwards literally contains blood, sweat, and tears.  A bloody nose, a crunched neck, two bags of ice, and thirty minutes later – the crew is back to work, figuring out how many “skis between the pauses”.  Regardless to say – sometimes those moments that look real on stage actually happen in the studio.  No need to worry.  Erin and I are just fine, if you don’t count a stiff neck and bruised face.  “Resilience” is Summation’s middle name.  Plus, I can totally show off this shiner.

You really don’t want to miss what has given us broken fingers, black eyes and all sorts of odd bruises next week.  We’re selling out fast!!

Julie

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