Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Week 2 in the studio for the Dancing in Museums project

Last week was our second of 2 weeks spent rehearsing for the Dancing in Museums project in Lincolnshire, hosted by the wonderful, welcoming Terry O'Toole Theatre/artsNK. It was a busy week; company dancer Carl Harrison spent his last days with us before beginning work with Punchdrunk and we were very fortunate to welcome Rob Guy, who will be taking over from Carl. Apprentice dancer Hannah Wintie, who has the unenviable task of understudying all the roles in The Imagination Museum, also joined us at the beginning of the week; theatre director Tom Cornford joined us on Tuesday and Wednesday and we were very pleased to see our open company classes so well-attended.

This week is a reflection week for the company; time to take stock of what we've been doing so far, to meet with our lovely collaborators and to make a plan for our final 3 weeks of creation.

Next week we start rehearsals at Eastbourne House Arts in London (join us for company class - more information here:

To give you a sense of what happened during our rehearsal time in Lincolnshire, MBKG intern Kate Thomas edited together some video clips, and also interviewed company dancer Jessamin Landamore to learn more about some of the challenges and highlights of the project so far:

In rehearsal at the North Kesteven Centre; photograph: Kate Thomas
Thoughts from Jessamin:
"This week we have been delving a bit deeper into our characters and we got the chance to work with Tom Cornford, a theatre director, who ran a drama based workshop. It was interesting because we had already formulated some material responding to the characters we had created; the workshop gave us a chance to completely strip back what we had devised so far and started realising that "my character wouldn’t have done that""

In rehearsal at the North Kesteven Centre; photograph: Katie Green
"Rob [Guy] joined us during the week so we have been transferring Carl’s character over and slotting him in which has been a challenge but a really great to see how the character can adapt and morph to different people.

Yesterday we started working on some movement phrases that were based on the earliest art that has been discovered in the UK: the development from the really simple line drawing of the most recent Ice Age and how we might be able to represent that with more clear lines of movement, compared with how the movement changes as the art gets more ornate and flourishing. This task was an interesting break away from the theatrical character based work, as it gave us the opportunity to work with more traditional 'pure' dance."

In rehearsal at the North Kesteven Centre; photograph: Katie Green
"We’ve also been developing some material from the R&D phase of the Dancing in Museums project. We got a chance to watch some of the videos of Stuart and Lucy’s performance in The Collection and Ipswich museums and could discuss which parts worked well, how the character engaged with the children in the audience and parts we could now build on.  It has been great trying to find the characters but also, at times, it has been a struggle because I don’t necessarily move in the same way that my character does, so it is a personal journey trying to embody a new person and avoid all of your natural ways of dealing with situations.

Finally, we have been developing some lovely poetry today!"

Some video clips that Kate edited together from the first 2 weeks:

Dancers: Rob Guy, Carl Harrison, Jessamin Landamore, Lucy Starkey, Hannah Wintie
Filmed/edited by Kate Thomas
Music by Max Perryment

More project updates to follow soon!

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