Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Smallpetitklein Kick Start

Last week I attend SPK's Kick Start summer intensive at The Space in Dundee. It was a 4day intensive with fundamental technique and dynamic work in the mornings followed by rep and creative work in the afternoon.

My body went into shock after the first day! I started running this summer and haven't been in the studio for months so my body wasn't best pleased by the range of movement I was expecting it to attempt. I am sure I looked anything but elegant but wow I felt like an angel dancing on clouds. That is the fantastic thing about dance, it can make you really FEEL. I can't describe how dance does it, but I feel alive as I move, and nothing else matters.

Ruth Mills took the first day and the first class (Graham-based and a dash of Beyonce) of each following day. I know Ruth's classes though I haven't been for a long time so it was wonderful to be back in the studio with her, her wit and fantastically encouraging way of giving corrections. Never have I known a dance teacher to inspire strength and energy like she does. Her classes are truly invigorating.

Tommy's Cunningham-based  classes were dynamic, challenging, exhausting but wonderful! Cunningham has a way of making me feel like I am moving freely, giving into gravity and letting my body take me where it wants to naturally. Even though I don't think have ever felt so much discomfort in my quads, moving felt amazing. Tommy's music choices really helped bring out my energy too, I couldn't stop smiling.

After I seized up and attempted to eat through the tiredness over lunchtime, creative work at times felt like a chore. The initial challenges of working with someone you don't know anything about dance-wise (or otherwise) were soon put aside and I found myself moving with and against my partner and creating work reflecting characters from SPK's production 'CUT'. I won't tell you much about it, you have to go and see it at the 2013 Fringe! I worked alone on character choreography and involved voice and physical theatre elements which I enjoyed too. Bringing everyone together to share their material was great as some pieces had similarities where others couldn't have been more different. Everyone I worked with this week was encouraging, friendly and very talented, I couldn't have asked for a better group of students to share in the intensive.

The finale of the week was our sharing, which members of the company, friends and staff from The Space attended. I wasn't sure at first how it would all look to them, and I am still none the wiser, however I look forward to seeing the film footage! It felt great getting so close to the audience and making direct eye contact, ensuring that they were sucked into the atmosphere we had created inside the studio. They seemed really engaged and joined in with the sections of the piece where we wanted some interaction and audience participation. The addition of props, pigs, cellophane and a huge red dress made the piece exciting, complex and (now I've lost all modesty), a bit of a spectacle for a studio sharing!

I now proudly wear my 'I love SPK ' t-shirt knowing I worked hard for it, and really do love the company! I can't wait until next year, but in the meantime, I'll be back at Graham in 2weeks.