Thursday, February 24, 2011

If The Shoe Fits Redux: Chapter One

"Sifter Dance" from a 2005 performance of If The Shoe Fits

Once upon a time...

If The Shoe Fits is an evening length dance theater work I scored for choreographer director Rachel Cohen back in in 2005. This was our first major collaboration as choreographer and composer, and the final work - which ran for ten performances at the Walker Space in New York City - received a rave review from then New York Times dance critic John Rockwell who selected it as one of the best dance performances of 2005. In 2006 we presented If The Shoe Fits at the Winter Garden in New York's World Financial Center. On March 19th, 2011, If The Shoe Fits will be performed at The Emeline Theatre in Mamaroneck, New York for one matinee performance. Thanks to Meet the Composer's Met Life Creative Connections Program, Racoco Productions is able to to bring me to New York (I now reside in Houston, Texas) to mix the music live for the performance and participate in a workshop about composing for dance.

In the weeks leading up to the performance, I'll be blogging once a week about the challenges of writing for dance, the nature of my and Rachel's collaborative process, and the progress of If The Shoe Fits redux as the Rachel and her dancers rehearse in New York City.

Michelle Vargo in If The Shoe Fits 2005 (photo by Silke Hasse)

If The Shoe Fits is inspired in part by fairy tales, most obviously Cinderella, and how these stories shape us for better or for worse as we grow older. Over the course of the work, dark, nearly bizarre moments of theater sit alongside moments of surreal humor. At one point, a fairy Godmother arrives on a vacuum cleaner to sing to Cinderella using a mop as a microphone. The score consists of several prerecorded pieces of music, each relatively short in length- almost like pop songs, and varying in musical styles providing a humorous and surreal subtext to the dance and theater. In the coming weeks, I will provide more details about the composition, recording, and mastering process of the score and post excerpts of the music.

I thank you for reading and welcome your comments as the weeks go by and we all get ready for this revised performance of If The Shoe Fits.

If The Shoe Fits
Choreography by Rachel Cohen
Original Score by Chris Becker
Saturday, March 19th 2011, 3:00 pm
The Emeline Theatre, Mamaroneck, NY
Tickets $40; $20 students, children
Funded in part through Meet The Composer's MetLife Creative Connections Program
Visit Racoco Productions

Katie Brack and Michelle Vargo in a scene from If The Shoe Fits 2005

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