For our current project we are joined by Chloe, a recent graduate of The Urdang Academy. Here she reflects on the ‘Unexpected Item’ journey so far….
Taster workshop, 31st October:
In my first taster session with SLiDE, I found myself from one minute drawing a portrait, of somebody of a similar age and height, with different parts of my body, to then creating a group of positions around an energetic three and half foot toddler in a yoga-eqsue position – very unexpected. Having just graduated from The Urdang Academy where my training was heavily dance technique based, SLiDE gave me the opportunity to exchange my skills and ideas with those who have different backgrounds in dance. I also appreciated the freedom Anita, from the SLiDE team, gave in the session, she initiated the tasks but didn’t dictate, as it was clear that everyone was given the opportunity to express themselves and their ideas were always respected.
The second session was equally as creative but focused on the themes of the piece, such as the library. We were given ideas inspired by the library such as the corridors and from that we created moving book shelves! It was great to see how a simple object such as a book could be used in so many different ways, and ever create interesting dance motifs.
One thing SLiDE brings to South London is the idea that creativity and dance is accessible for everyone and can be achieved with people from down the road! Everyone made me feel welcome and provided an uninhibited environment for me to create and explore dance. I felt that after the session I was looking at things around me with a fresh perspective; allowing myself to expect and accept the unexpected! With this in mind I am intrigued and excited to see what happens on the rest of the SLiDE experience.
Creation day one: 2nd November: Shopping tents and basket backpacks.
My unexpected moment from this week’s session: 11am on a Saturday morning and I was wearing a Sainsbury’s shopping basket as a backpack in a game of ‘pass the basket’! Later on in the day, a tent was passed around the circle and was used as a surf board and a dress.
This week built upon the games from Thursday’s session, ‘Book ledges’ ‘Disco book’ and ‘Circle time’ as well as a warm up game that involved copying someone else’s dance move in a circle. This became choreography for later in the session, and developed into duets and trios. In this session we experimented with the space, rearranging the recycling to get us moving and using the space in different ways. Playing in the space was interesting as there became a number of ways to set up the space for the performance, instead of the conventional way of having the audience directly facing the stage. We wondered how to create more of an experience for the audience not just a performance… I’m looking forward to playing with this idea more.
Creation day two: 9th November: Progress!
We created the first 10 minutes of the piece! It got there through some planning, a lot experimenting and of course, improvising and Gemma’s words of wisdom, ‘It’s the simple things’ were particularly relevant to Saturday’s session. Mid afternoon both Gemma and I’s brains were feeling frazzled when working on a group section with shopping baskets. We tried several tasks but they didn’t feel as though they were really getting anywhere. We then realised that we were looking too hard, and in actual fact the simplest part of the task, with two people simply stood back to back holding the baskets, was in fact visually very interesting and it could be used with another section, as well as sparking new ideas for other sections!
The work is really exciting, and each session gets more experimental – the number of ways in which everyday props can be used constantly surprises me! I’m enjoying experimenting and creating but most of all watching what others offer and getting to know everyone working on the piece better week by week.