Whilst the company are out in the USA work continues at the Motionhouse studio and offices. In particular, we’re all very excited about the upcoming International Dance Festival Birmingham; a month long festival celebrating and championing dance in its many wonderful forms from the 24th April. Produced by our good friends at Birmingham Hippodrome and DanceXchange, the festival will be bringing a vibrant mix of world class performers,exhibitions and dance companies to the West Midlands – and we are incredibly proud that Motionhouse Youth will be performing on April 26th as part of the Midlands Youth Dance (MY Dance) festival – full details can be found by clicking here. As you can imagine, the company are incredibly excited to be performing their latest work Unbound, at MY Dance and we caught up with Motionhouse Youth Dancer Rhianna Lund (18) who has been with the company since January 2013 and asked her to give us a sneak peek behind the scenes into the rehearsal process:
“With only a few weeks to go until the performance, it’s no holding back! Not that we hold back much anyway, but it really feels like we’re working full tilt now that we’re less than a month from the big day. Last weeks rehearsal was action packed; every moment counts in these final weeks so after Claire had lead us through a shorter warm up than usual (but no less important – we’re constantly reminded how important it is to get those muscles stretched, warm and ready to dance) we set about working on the main piece.
I feel that Unbound truly lives up to its name; we based the piece around the idea of what it is to break away from ‘the norm’ and it’s coming together beautifully . With almost everyone in the class present, we get straight down to the ground (literally, for half of us!) and run through the piece. Last week we had to teach some of the work we had done to some dancers who had missed a session or two, so it was all hands on deck and in no time we were caught up, warmed up and had stunning routines flowing across the floor. With everyone up to speed on what we’re doing, we continued cementing the movement into our muscles and memories. A few tweaks were made here and there to make the routine flow better and we also checked up on the areas that can be more complex. We then put some work into the solo motifs that come after a section called ‘the canon caterpillar’ which was great to work on as a team. Claire watched us run through Luka’s section to make sure those involved were confident with what they were doing and had the details down; that’s one of the great things about Motionhouse Youth. The details are important but they aren’t limited to the movement, they include how the dance is performed. Who are we? What is this dance trying to show? Are we showing that?
With that section smoothed over, we turned to the real monster of the evening: the ending. We’d been dissatisfied with this for a while now and tonight was the night we did something firm about it. Our initial ideas for the ending are being reworked because they don’t work easily in terms of where everyone is positioned at that point (which I was a little disappointed about, as I was being swung around Dan’s shoulders originally, which was lots of fun!) so we started something new using the same dance partners that we use at the beginning of the piece. After a few falsestarts, several suggestions and a good few changes and add-ons, we had the perfect short piece showing both the cooperation of the dance so far and the break away that would follow just after. It still needs work, but doesn’t it always? I can’t give too much away (you’ll have to come and watch us at My Dance!) but we’re finally satisfied with what we have. A couple of complete run throughs of the piece, plus a few laughs when we messed up the new section on one of the runs, and we were done for the day. Cool downs and chit chat saw the last few minutes before we went our separate ways until next time. Found myself humming the song all the way to the train station and grinning the whole time… another great night.”
Thanks Rhianna! The Motionhouse Youth company will be keeping us up to date with how they’re getting on before IDFB here and on our social channels – so if you want to wish them luck don’t forget to like, tweet or follow us! You can buy tickets for IDFB here.
Motionhouse Youth is just one of 3 amazing opportunities we have for young dancers to get moving in our studio in Leamington. As well as Motionhouse Youth (who are all aged between 14 and 19), on tuesday nights we hold Motionhouse Youth Classes for 11 – 19 year olds who want to learn more about dance, brush up on techniques and keep fit and Thursdays are all about the endlessly energetic Motionhouse Junior (8 – 13 years). We are always on the look out for young, enthusiastic dancers to come along and take part so if this sounds like you or someone you know – get in touch with Claire or Sam to have a chat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phew! That’s it for us for this week,
Lara and Motionhouse Youth Xx