After the walk, part of the process of making “How To Lose a Mountain” was about how we took our experiences from the trail into the studio. How does one capture what it feels like to walk till you think you can’t anymore, look out into a dense forest, spot an owl, eat like a horse after you come off the trail? What is of value from these experiences that translates to the stage work?
An occasional criticism of “How To Lose a Mountain” is that it is not the story about Cassie’s 500 mile walk. True. It’s a story about loss. Where the story of the walk manifests itself is in the movement material. We never could have created the kind of physical material we did without the experience of being outside, and I’d add: being outside with each other.
This video, created by Matthew Cumbie, was taken the night we came off the trail after hiking 70 miles. It was hard to make dance after that part of the walk–it was hard to know where to begin or how we’d ask our bodies to do a little more. I’m thankful we did: much of this material made its way into the stage work, and had a different tone and quality than anything we’d made before or since.