Ever wonder what it would be like to tour with the incredible dancers of Shaping Sound? We turned to company member Chantel Aguirre and asked her how her experience has been while working with the company. Here is what she told us:
“How do I accurately depict the incredible intensity that is tour? Some of my most favorite moments of my life have been on tour with Shaping Sound…I continuously have those pinch me moments when I am dancing alongside the humans I so genuinely look up to as artists and who I am lucky enough to call my best friends. It is so hard to reflect on this past month of touring and gather a few of my favorite memories because a million images and feelings come to my mind. The best way to put it is this tour with Shaping Sound was so beautifully intense and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. This past month was a whirlwind of performing, vintage shopping (far too much), city exploring, matcha hunting, wig fixing, show studying, character building, tour bus laughs, and falling more in love with the humans in this company and with my art. I am counting down the days to do it all again in June!!
Shaping Sound has become a part of my life, a path that I have discovered myself as a human and an artist and continue to learn the more the company works together. Creating this new show was mind blowing. There were obstacles and challenges that pushed this group of dancers closer together and really strengthened the overall outcome of the show. Watching Travis for the two months of creation was beautiful. His drive, strength and ability to create such a deep, beautifully twisted story line and projecting it through dance, had me in awe. This tour felt different from the rest because on stage we were completely different humans. We were in our story, we were our story. There was no option to be Chantel playing Lily because that just wouldn’t do the work justice, I had to be Lily.
Some of my favorite moments on tour were those that I came off stage and really felt that I was still Lily. It felt powerful. I was acting and I felt the person I was playing. I went through so many emotions every night on that stage and watched our company going through them as well. There was not one show that I didn’t so intently watch from the wings. In the show, Mason Cutler (Clyde) and Lily are married so we have a lot of the same track entering and exiting the stage…we would exit from our pieces, turn around and sit stretching in the wings watching the story unfold on stage, feeling like two little kids watching their idols tell their story. I would be in that wing, crying out of love and admiration, yelling from excitement and feeling every feeling in between. Hands down my favorite part of tour is performing, discovering and building upon my show, and watching my cast members do the same.
I think the entire company would agree that another hugely important part of tour is our tour bus. Try to imagine the intensity of putting 13 dancers, who are a family, in one bus every night after every show. The adrenaline is insane, the stories are hysterical, and honestly some of the weirdest things happen in that home on wheels. Some visuals that stick out in my mind would be our improv party in the back of the bus with Teddy Forance, Kate Harpootlian, Mason Cutler and I, holding a bluetooth speaker, using the walls and couches as props. Nick Lazzarini’s five minute FULL OUT “bad dancing” solo to “Work Me Down”…yes, the bus is huge. Another constant nightly routine is playing Catch Phrase with the whole company. There is a bed for each of us on that tour bus but truly sleep is limited just because we love hanging around one another. We stay up late sharing stories, playing games, dancing, and correcting and refining the show. For that month of tour you are constantly around your company members, you share so much, you fall in love with each of them and you find a whole new respect for the artist and human that they are, day in and day out.
So lastly I would say a favorite part of tour is the human connection. I don’t know if it is just me, but I feel like as dancers we connect with one another so deeply. We are so sensitive to each others energies, emotions and overall state. I really mean it when I say that these company members are my family, my best friends. I have become an adult with a lot of these people. A good amount of them are in my bridal party for Michael and my wedding. They are and will always be a huge part of my life. We feel each other and grow with each other. If someone is feeling off, we all feel it and that is so intense. We truly became a company, a unit, one and I find that so insanely powerful…
Those are the things that jump at me when I think of touring with my family but there are too many moments that I am leaving out. I am beyond ready to get back into the rehearsal space with this group. I am ready to refine what we created and share this story with more audiences around the country.
Here’s to June!!”
Xo, Chantel Aguirre