Week Two

4th - 8th March 2019

This was our first week together as a whole company and the fist time that all of the different personalities of the performers were in the room. At first we sensed a slight divide between the two that came from ‘dance’ backgrounds and the two that came from more of a live art and performance background. This is something that we had to negotiate at all times, taking into account the different ways that people learn and pick up choreography.

The goal for this week was to begin to learn all of the traditional dances that we wanted to use as a basis for the choreography. We also wanted to focus a bit more on the improvisations that we experimented with in the first week making the directions that we gave much more specific, repeating the process and taking note of sections that we like and things that happened that surprised us.

One thing that we struggled with was the ability to have the group maintain focus and energy throughout the whole day. We had to experiment with starting at different times, how long warm up would be and at what time we would take our lunch break. There was a shifting dynamic between the performers as they got to know each other and understand how each other worked. It almost felt as in the first few days they were working out their hierarchy, who had the most power and whos word had the most respect. As the project leaders we then ourselves had to work out how we slotted into this dynamic and how we would be able to maintain control during the process - which sometimes we did not.

At the end of the week we had a range of different sections, some that were traditional dances, some that were structured improvisation and some that were the start of set choreography.

The tasks for myself and Sophie was now to start to decide how we could layer and disrupt what we had created so far, discuss what sections we felt worked together and what else we would like to explore.

Lydia Cottrell