28 February 2011

Photos of the performance and workshop at Brockhurst Care Home with libby, Alex, Tamara and Rhiannon


28 February 2011

Photos from the performance and workshop at Lockwood Disability Centre with Anna, Hannah, Adam and Peter.

Workshop Devising

26 February 2011

After another late night putting the final touches to film and music, the dance artists and I gathered together this morning (Wednesday) to devise he content for the Primary School and Care Home workshops. Very luckily I have been working with Sally Beattie, a specialist in dance education to create an education pack and lesson plan – she had such great ideas and it was really lovely to work with someone seeing the dance from the outside and drawing themes from our creation that linked to the school curriculum. Sally took us through the lesson plan – teaching the dance artists so that we could experience how the lesson would feel to the children. After the hard work of the previous two days, it was lovely to play with ideas again.

Our afternoon was spent talking about how we wanted to structure the care home sessions and adjusting material we had so it was appropriate for seated movement. That evening I also had the pleasure of being a guest speaker at the Surrey Arts networking evening – a fantastic chance to let people know about the work we have been doing!

Final Rehearsal Days

25 February 2011

4 days to create 5 dance-works (1 for the full company and 4 small group versions) for a cast of 17 dancers. Until this week I didn’t realise what a mammoth task that was! For Monday, the task was to sketch out the whole piece together with films and music (as Susanne and I had finished the films on Sunday night – to watch them and read the stories click here). We did this using the material we had created in our first two sessions together. Working quickly we managed to finish two sections completely and have two sections mostly done. The dancers did really well and worked hard to remember all the changes and additions I was making – but looked exhausted by the end! No rest for me though as Monday evening I edited together the films and music into one track for the dancers that could be played off the TV.

Today (Tuesday) was our last rehearsal – it was tight as we still had to finish a couple of sections for each group and then decide what to put into the full company version! Since Monday had been such a long day the dancers were still a bit tired, especially the younger ones although they were adamant that it wasn’t the case, and old injuries crept back into play. It meant that as a team we had to be clever about how many times we ran the whole piece and how was best to polish and rehearse. All the parents came to watch at the end which was a lovely final showing today. They were amazed by how much we had put together in a short space of time. I hope to put up a video of the full company piece soon, so watch this space!

Tomorrow the dance artists gather to devise the workshops they we will be teaching in schools and care homes…

Photos from our final rehearsal day taken by Jess Walrond. Thank you Jess!

Final Rehearsal Day Andre

24 February 2011

Final Rehearsal Day Andre

Well, it has all gone by so quickly. The second and third rehearsal days went by in a flash.  We continued to develop the ideas and dance phrases from Day one and the intensity slowly increased as we realised that we only had a few more hours to go.  The brilliant thing for me was just being around such obviously talented people.  The children were great and took everything in their stride and the professionals were absolutely fab. Hats off to anyone in the dance industry.  You need tremendous athleticism, fitness, agility and lots more to be a dancer.  I had none of these. My ‘older persons’ muscles were taking a bit of a bashing so it was only a hot bath in the evening that saved my entire  body from seizing up altogether.

The final rehearsal was a touch more serious than the others.  We all knew that we only had one session to pull the whole thing together.  I say ‘we’ but I mean Rosie who had been patiently tweaking each dance group’s routine into shape.  It is difficult judging our own group’s performance but sitting down and seeing the other groups dance in turn was great.  It also felt good when Rosie put us all together and we performed as a troupe.  I hope it goes well on the day.

Oh, and on second thoughts…I will give the Chippendales audition a miss.


Some Thoughts from Vicki and Libby

18 February 2011

The first two rehearsals are well underway and have been thoroughly enjoyable. During the first rehearsal Rosie led games to help bond the group together and get us to know one and other a bit better. I love the confidence the young ones have to take the lead during the group activities! We looked at a handful of objects putting stories to each one  and then started to create movement inspired by the stories.

The group which I am part of created a very complex knitting dance where we weave in and out of each other, however this led to us becoming tangled and confused on many occasions! Just how I find knitting!

I was later given the task to create a solo using the beautiful wooden music stand. This was quite daunting as it is such a beautiful object with so many different possibilities.

The second rehearsal was a lot of refining material we made the previous week and creating more. It has been wonderful to work alongside dancers of different ages, so many ideas to play with and create movement from. The music stand has really grown on me since last week and I keep thinking of the different ideas it represents. I really love the idea of how it could represent a conductor and the control he/she holds over the orchestra and the different movements you can see whilst watching a conductor.

Im looking forward to the next rehearsal to see how all our different sections will fit together!


I’m very excited about the week ahead with the group, I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and dancing all week. I’m quite nervous as I missed a rehearsal, but I know everyone is so welcoming that we will have fun as well as creating more wonderful dance through stories. I’m now going to work on my music stand solo!


Share the Word Films

17 February 2011

I am working with filmmaker Susanne Dietz to create short films that link into the Share the Word project that explore the objects we are using. On Monday and Tuesday we worked closely together filming the objects and looking at creative ways to bring them to life. Below are a couple of photos as a sneak preview!

Initial Choregraphy Developments

17 February 2011

We have now had two rehearsals and created a lot of material to be used. So far we have worked on creating 4 phrases in groups, individually and duets which we will develop to form 2-3minute dance phrases. Click on the videos below to see some videos from rehearsal based around the different objects.

To view more videos:

Vicki's Thoughts

13 February 2011

Day one:

Such an interesting day, meeting all the participants and getting to know each other. I particularly liked all walking into the middle of the circle and receiving a round of applause…it made me feel very welcome!

Looking at all the wonderful objects that Rosie had brought in sparked off some great memories for me, in particular the cluedo game. Such great family memories of playing the game with my sisters and laughing a lot! I really enjoyed working with Jack to create our cludeo duet; he had great ideas for movement.

Overall a really fun and interesting day, can’t wait to perform!


Andre de Mendonca - First Rehearsal

09 February 2011

Andre de Mendonca - First Rehearsal

I arrived at the rehearsal hall a bit apprehensive. What was an ‘older person’ ( for that is how I was categorized) with no rhythm, two left feet and distorted centre of gravity doing in a dance project?  My heart sank even further when I saw the professional dancers, instantly recognisable by their grace and demeanour, and the performing arts students.  I am out of my depth; get me outta here.

Rosie kicked off with the introductions and we were under way.  With the warm-ups over we started exploring … in dance form…the everyday objects that had been assembled for us.   Amazingly, everyone from the school children to the ‘older persons’  contributed ideas which were incorporated into little dance routines.  It was fascinating for someone like me to see the creative process in action and even more incredible to be part of it.

The day passed in a flash so I must have enjoyed it.  Riverdance or the Chippendales are beckoning.  The latter, I think.  Dream on.