Elements runs June 14-16 at the Studio Theatre in Los Angeles
Anyone who has ever taken class from me will know that I am fond of using the concept of the Four Elements – Air, Fire, Water, Earth – to introduce and explore weights, rhythms and breathing. Nature’s forces provide great imagery and energy to get the body and imagination moving. So I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this imagery and energy to the stage.
Elements opens in Los Angeles in about three weeks and the namesake piece will be the finale based on Marceau’s Four Elements choreography adapted for a three-person ensemble. Lorin and I both learned the four individual pieces at Marceau’s school and it is exciting to dust them off and bring them to life again. Having Rommel Ruiz round out our trio of actors allows us to do some innovative new things with the classic choreography, which is meant for an individual performer.
Each element has a dynamic quality that makes it unique and naturally dramatic.
Air can be a soft breeze or, as we have tragically been reminded this week by the Oklahoma tornado, it can be powerfully destructive. It also immediately brings to mind thoughts of flight. We see a bird catching the wind under its wing to soar and rise into open freedom, an openness that is at once exalting and vulnerable.
Fire warms, comforts and burns us. It is no wonder that passion is often described as a fire burning within one’s soul. It gives light and consumes fuel. And from match to inferno, it is the element that most inspires in us both fascination and fear. Tapping into the primal, frenetic energy of fire inspires these emotions for student and audience alike.
Water also can take on a variety of forms, from a chatty fast-running brook to the sensuality of waves caressing the beach, to the mystery of waves that hide a deadly undertow, to a tidal wave that carries away everything in it’s path. It is also home to a strange and delightful menagerie of life. Indeed, it is the source of life itself.
Earth is the most difficult to imagine in movement. We don’t usually think of earth as moving. But if water is the source of life, earth is life’s incubator. It protects the seed buried in its depths and supports the full grown tree, as well as everything that crawls, slithers or walks upon it, including us. And at the end of life, it receives our bodies back into it’s bossom. In some ways, earth is the most expansive of the four elements.
All four elements are interlaced with the rhythms of our lives in intricate ways, which is what makes them such perfect material for dramatic exploration and exposition. Through them, we intuitively sense our connection to the world around us. Bringing that dynamic connection to our stage and audience is the delightful challenge we are taking on in triplicate. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.
For more about Elements, check out our website. www.TripledElements.com