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92Y’s Buttenweiser Hall is twice as wide as The Construction Company—where I previewed Letter from Poland—and its ceilings are about twice as high. I found that I needed to substantially revise the excerpt I was going to perform on January 20th in light of these larger dimensions.

My first impulse was to “amp” up the dynamics, yet upon further consideration this made the early part of the piece I was excerpting too dramatic too soon. Instead, I began to investigate expanding the positioning and focus of the movements and gestures as well as the placement of the props as appropriate for the scale of the space.

And these changes were reflected in Stacey Menchel’s description of the piece for The Forward:

Shapiro performed an excerpt from her dance–theater piece “Letter from Poland,” inspired by a note sent to her grandmother in 1937 from an unknown relative. An array of suitcases, bags, hats and maps heighten Shapiro’s sense of wandering and displacement as she contemplates the fate of this mysterious family member.

Also, whereas last year it felt as though the piece was being given to me, this year I questioned everything, not only the movements I couldn’t remember without referring to the video, but also the movements I could—every gesture, each weight shift questioned and analyzed until I had to let go of this dogged yet temporarily useful mindset and, again, let the piece tell me what it needed.