We had no idea what we were getting into when we first began this project way back in 2012. We were responding to necessity more than inspiration. One of our dancers was sidelined by an injury a couple of months before our fall season and, after deciding he was too integral to replace, we suddenly had a 20-minute gap to fill in the program.
Too tapped for another new work, we decided to take the chance and commission other choreographers to jump in and set work on us. This was a first for RAWdance – and what an incredible opportunity to approach some of the Bay Area’s hugely talented artists who we’d always admired.
Of course the catch was that we had less than two months, tight rehearsal schedules, and a limited budget. Not the best pitch for an artist.
Long was out. Short was the answer. Really short. Two-minutes short. We don’t remember exactly how we hit on two minutes and not three or some other number, but that’s where we landed. Two minutes seemed accomplishable for a busy artist. And it seemed like a tempting problem to solve. How do you make a satisfying dance with a beginning, middle, and end, in two minutes?
The two-minute paradigm helped the rest of the piece fall into place. Duets have been at the core of our work since the beginning, and two minutes balanced out two dancers. Commissioning four choreographers gave us roughly the right length work for the program, and could offer a wide range of voices to the piece, making each two minutes wildly different from the last.
Double Exposure (draft one) premiered at ODC Theater in November 2012, with duets choreographed by Ann Carlson, Joe Goode, KT Nelson, and the pair of Shinichi and Dana Iova-Koga.