Screensaver is the backstage name for one of the dances in Precipice. The dance reappears at various moments during the show, and it provides an emotionally neutral contrast to the powerful messages of the more dramatic numbers. It also allows for set changes in a show where the curtains never close. The girls do the screensaver while the boys move the heavy props. The whole thing communicates a metaphor of an exposed psyche to the audience. It’s like watching a daydream.
The screensaver provides a rest for the audience, almost like a meditation. It is anything but boring though. It is beautiful, and, like a computer screensaver, it is calming, peaceful and random.
For the girls who perform in it, it’s still a workout. The moves seem simple but they require strength and control to successfully convey the sense of peace the dance is meant to share with the audience.
So we are practicing every little detail right from the walk across the stage.
Correct screensaver walking technique is as follows: upright with arms by the sides, elbows turned out slightly so that the arms dangle in a soft curve that looks effortless but is anything but. The chest is open, the shoulders back and the head tall in a neutral but regal posture. On tiptoes with strong, straight legs. The whole body is engaged. Then walk, slowly and smoothly, without losing the tiptoe or bending the legs, without swinging the arms and without wobbling.
It’s harder than it looks.
When done right it looks wonderful, like we are perfect, ethereal beings floating across the stage. Interspersed with the walk are other, more complex movements.
All the Kaleidoscope performers have other commitments in our lives. None of us can rehearse constantly. The only option is to practice throughout the day, in mind and in body.
I find myself walking screensaver instead of walking normally at home. I screensaver from the lounge to the bedroom to the kitchen, adding a half Horton’s twist there just because there is space for it.
It’s kind of cool bring the magic of dance into my everyday life. My body may be in pain at the moment, but it’s also thanking me.
Life is all about balance.