So I think in my last post that I pretty much exhausted all ship-related puns possible, so I’m going to do my best to exclude any from this post and any that follow in the future in relation to The Voyage!
The Voyage has moved on so much, even in the last couple of weeks since I lasted posted and it’s really starting to take shape now. All the dancer apprentices have officially started and are shadowing our Motionhouse dancers and Kevin. We recruited 7 dancers who are in the early stages of their career to work alongside and be mentored by our professional dancers. We also chose to recruit a more experience dancer to learn from Kevin. George Adams joins us, having previously worked for Loop Dance Company, The National Dance Company of Wales and Ludus Dance to name but a few. He will shadow Kevin to learn everything he can about being an Artistic Director and producing shows so that he is armed with the skills he needs to create his own dance company, which he hopes to do following The Voyage. Earlier in the year George was recruited alongside Luka Owen, Amy Lovelock and Laura Vanhulle in our open audition process and Jade Barton, Joshua Houghton, Tess Letham and Kalliopi-Ioanna Chodrakis, (Pollyanna for short) joined us from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The apprentices will now be working with our dancers and Kevin over the coming months until the conclusion of The Voyage. They will create and perform material in The Voyage, as well as assisting our dancers to deliver the workshops supporting the creation of the community performance elements.
The first working day for the apprentices was a great introduction to the project. We met as a whole team, which due to the busy nature of Motionhouse is not an everyday occurrence! It was a fantastic opportunity for us all to meet, get to know each other and find out a little more about what everyone’s roles and responsibilities will be within the production. It also gave Kevin the chance to update everyone on his vision and plans for the show. We were also shown sneak previews of some of the new film elements that will be appearing in the production that no one has seen before. I have to say that there was a buzz of excitement throughout the day as well as the realization of just how massive the project is going to be – both to deliver but also an amazing achievement and a fantastic opportunity for us to be involved.
Pumped with Kevin’s visions it was back to the office for Soph, Jo, Liz, mezze and I, whilst he and
Louise spent the next few days working with our new company of 16 dancers on material for The Voyage. During this time ideas really started to come together for the community groups’ involvement (which we’ve called Quest). The first 3 groups met soon after these sessions and our dancers were delighted with how well the ideas were met were by the groups, the enthusiasm they showed and the talent of the youngsters involved.
Claire and Polyanna visited Nova and they were delighted with how well the first workshop session went. Claire said: “We had an amazing first session; they came up with some really nice duets and some really complex choreography that’s going to look amazing!”
Our Motionhouse adult performance group also met for the first time and we had an amazing turnout. Mezze joined our dancers and the adult group for their first Sunday session and she said that the 2 hours flew: “It was great to see how many people turned up for the adult performance group. We’d asked people to confirm their attendance before the session, and the numbers were already looking good, and then even more people turned up asking if they could join in. We now have 16 in the group and ages range from 16 to 51, which is exactly what we wanted. The standard of the group is already really high and I know that by the time the performances arrive, with the commitment and talent they’re showing that the group will look amazing.”
It’s not too late if you still want to get involved in The Voyage as we are running 2 Motionhouse Masterclasses for professional dancers/performers and dance students/graduates in our studio in Leamington Spa. The sessions will be led by Kevin and some of our company dancers on Saturday 14 and Saturday 21 April 2012. If you’re interested in joining us you can choose to attend one or both sessions, which will explore the style, content and context of The Voyage. Registering in advance is essential though as places are limited so email mezze if you’d like to join us at email@example.com or call the office on 01926 887 052.
In addition to commencing the devising work for The Voyage, the dancers have also been working hard preparing Scattered and getting Martina up-to-speed in what was previously Laura’s role. As I’m sure you’ll remember we were offering you the opportunity to join us for open rehearsals the other week so you could get a sneak preview as the dancers prepared for a private showing we held at Warwick Arts Centre. I’m delighted to say that Martina’s premiere was a sure fire hit (yeah!) she’s integrated really well into the piece and with the team and she and the company gave a great performance. For those of you who’d like to show their support for Martina and see the new dynamics of the show I’m afraid there’s just the one place you’ll get to see it in the UK this year (so far anyway!). We’ll be performing at Déda in Derby on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April. So if you haven’t had chance to see the show yet or you just want to see the show with Martina in make sure you book your tickets ASAP. Click here for more info from Déda.
Oh and below you can see a sneak preview of Martina in rehearsals to get you in the mood for Scattered!
I think that’s it for now, but I’ll be in touch soon with more updates from The Voyage and Quest, and no doubt lots more!