Yaroslavl, Russia Day Six: Forgiveness Project Lab Moves into Rehearsals

Today, I needed to shift the Forgiveness Lab from generation of material and deep conversation into construction, collaboration, and rehearsing. This compressed process leaves really only 2 days to construct and rehearse.

Deciding to turn the students’ texts into lyrics, I enlisted the artistry of Joel Brown, (from Axis Dance Company,) to compose something simple. Joel agreed – delightedly. I also pulled in Monaca and Dustin, (from Minneapolis,) to do some text reading and improvising along with the students. This really up’d the situation for the students, who would see the material they helped to generate being performed with professionals, etc. I’m delighted to have my colleagues engage the material and to be a part of this “process piece.”


We have been so busy teaching and performing that Frances and I have done little to no exploration of the city! Each day we promise to go shopping or sight-seeing, and each day the work seems to take over our time. We are putting in a lot of hours at the studio – and happily so. And, we hope to get some windows to see this ancient city beyond the pathway from hotel to theater. (ANNE)

Dinner at the hotel is often entertaining – if not delicious. On this particular night, a group of slightly intoxicated Russian socialites invited a few of us dancers on the dance floor. Much fun was had by all. After a few rounds of random improvisations, Anne and I found ourselves out there on our own and managed to do a couple of brilliant lifts, both of which took us totally by surprise – we are still wishing we could recall how we did them. I guess what happens in Russia stays in Russia. Later on the front steps of the hotel, where we went to cool off overlooking the river, the women came over to us and engaged in a high-pitched conversation across three languages. It was hilarious and no telling what was said, but we were having a blast communicating nonetheless. 🙂 (FRANCES)

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