Hope all’s well! I realise that our last post was a few weeks ago now, but that’s not because we’ve had nothing to say, the exact opposite, we’ve been so busy, we’ve found it tough to put pen to paper, or should I say fingers to keys!
The Voyage has moved on extensively in the last few weeks. Our dancers and apprentices have been rehearsing with the Quest groups for seven weeks now and have created some truly beautiful material for their sections already.
In addition to the Quest rehearsals that have been underway we also held two Motionhouse Masterclasses in April. The sessions were led by Kevin and some of our dancers and explored the style, content and context of The Voyage, giving those involved a sneak preview of what to expect in June. Mezze was on hand both days, taking piccies and video footage and she was delighted with how much everyone learnt from the sessions and how much fun they had at the same time! To see the April masterclasses in action check out the films from both days here and here.
In addition to the numerous rehearsals our dancers have been running over the last couple of months they did manage to take time out of their hectic schedule to take part in a photo shoot for The Voyage. I arranged for the amazing Nicola Selby to join us for the day and capture the essence of The Voyage for press and promotional imagery. As this was Soph’s first ever photo shoot I’ve asked her to share some thoughts about what it was like to be involved, so here’s what she had to say:
“As the variety of the Motionhouse activities are endless, Jus and I found ourselves turning from the Marketing Department into the Costume Department for three days last month. With the dancers’ busy schedules we had just just two days to costume the twelve dancers for the shoot! This included suits, dresses, coats, shoes, hats, and accessories. These had to match the theme of the show, which is a 1940-50s style and of course fit our dancers so they could move freely in them. We begged and borrowed our way around Leamington to find costumes, and I think it’s safe to say that Jus and I are now very familiar with all of the charity shops in the area! There was also some fun and games when we took a road trip with mezze (my first time in the Moho Sprinter!) to pick up ten or so bags full of costumes courtesy of Debbie, one of the costume assistants on the show, and
Birmingham Opera Company who had kindly lent us hundreds of items – Thanks both!
The day of the photo shoot arrived and we were in shock with the amount of clothes that we had managed to acquire in such a short space of time. We must also pass on our thanks to Maddy and Suzie at Heartbreak Productions who also supplied some period costumes and our very own Louise who donated some amazing pieces, including the suit her mum got married in, which was stunning (and you can spot it in the final piccies, as Liv is wearing it)! The fun then began as we had just two hours to fit the dancers into the costumes we’d sourced. Ally had a great time dressing up, one moment he was a captain, then a sailor and also a business man.
He kept calling for a ‘costume change’ during the shoot – obviously he was a fan of dressing up in his younger days! We’d also arranged for a local hairdresser Emma to be on hand and she worked wonders styling the girls’ hair. Two hours later, hundreds of hair rollers and clips, tonnes of hair spray, safety pins galore and masses of red lippie (for the girls only, of course!) and we were ready to go!
As the set of the ship is currently still being constructed we used our Scattered set in order to create some height within the images and give the illusion of the cruise liner. The dancers were hanging off, sliding up and down and diving from the set to get some dramatic shots of people falling overboard! These photos are now in pre-production with the designers who will superimpose ship related imagery behind the dancers in order to encompass the sentiment of the show and its staging.
The photo shoot went extremely well, and our photographer Nicola Selby and her partner Mark were a joy to work with, we all had great fun with the dancers and we produced some incredible shots, so I think for my first photo shoot, it’s safe to safe to say it was a success.
Keep your eyes peeled for the final shots; we can’t wait to show you the finished results!
Thanks for that Soph, I think it was a fantastic shoot too, so let’s hope all of you agree now!
Our down under collaborators, Legs On The Wall, have also been extremely busy rehearsing elements of the show ready to bring over with them to the UK in a couple of weeks. We’ll keep you updated with all rehearsal images as and when we can, but if you have missed what they’ve been up to so far check out the Facebook albums here. They also made the national news earlier this week when they officially launched The Voyage in Australia, check out the film footage here to see them in action and hear what one of their performers thinks about the show.
Of course don’t forget you can also get regular updates from The Voyage website, which is officially live now. Check it out for everything you need to know about the show, including ways in which you can get involved. This might be through sharing your stories of how an important journey has changed your life, or what it meant to you to move from a different city or another country. You can get more information about sharing your stories by clicking here.
There’s also the opportunity for you to become involved in the production itself as we need hundreds of volunteers. Our producers of the event, Birmingham Hippodrome, are searching for volunteers over the four nights of the show, which to remind you, runs Thursday 21 – Sunday 24 June 2012. There are various roles available, including site assistants, chaperones, runners, event and artist stewards and media assistants. We are expecting over 5,000 people on each of the four nights to watch the performance and will need people to help on all sorts of things to make this happen. If you’re interested and can commit to the compulsory training on Wednesday 20 June (dress rehearsal) and the four subsequent nights – then the Hippodrome want to hear from you! There will also be a training session in May and on performance nights you will be required from 8.30pm until approx. 11.15pm (a little earlier at 7.00pm on the Wednesday night dress rehearsal). This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of something very special and unique to Birmingham, so if you want to find out more, or wish to fill out an application pack log on to the ‘Get Involved‘ page on The Voyage website.
Of course The Voyage isn’t the only thing we’ve been busy working on over the last few weeks. We performed Scattered at Déda in Derby last week (Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April). These, currently, are the only planned performances of Scattered we have for 2012 in the UK, and as such I’m delighted to say that the shows went exceptionally well. It wasn’t an easy task mind due as it was quite a squeeze to fit the set onto the stage and for our dancers to perform some of the silk sections without banging their heads. But in true theatre fashion the show went on, and what a reaction we received! In my opinion this was truly fitting as these shows marked the final performances for one of our longest standing and most spectacular dancers Olivia, who will be leaving us for pastures new after The Voyage. We really hope you enjoyed your last performances of Scattered Liv – and we’re not going to get too sentimental now as there’s still a couple of months to go, but just so you know we’re going to miss you so much when you go!
Well, that’s about all I’ve got time for now, it’s back to the grind stone, but I promise not to leave it so long before I post again!