Thursday 11th April 2013
In today’s rehearsal of Coffee Shop Culture, I observed a break down of the piece up to the unison retrograde section. This included:
- Coffee frantics – Alice gave the performers feedback from yesterday’s rehearsal. The performers did a workshop to produce new ideas for movement within this section.
- Alice gave the company dancers their feedback from yesterday’s rehearsal as well.
- Barista Trio – Alice worked on the transition of the movement going into the projection with the music and the positioning of the characters within this section.
- Mothers section – Alice worked on timing, making sure the movement matched the music.
- Transitions of:
Business men and women.
Old couple section.
Alice looked at timing in these sections.
Overall today I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and watching the coffee frantics (local young dancers) in their section. Alice clarified the movement, characteristics of each character, spacing/positioning and dynamics of the piece in general. This is my last blog, which I am upset it is at an end. However, I am happy to say the next time I will see Coffee Shop Culture it will be the actual performance.
I would like to thank Alice Vale and the company for being welcoming and friendly. I couldn’t thank you enough for allowing me into your world and company. This has been an amazing opportunity which I will never forget.
Monday 8th April 2013
In today’s rehearsal of Coffee Shop Culture, I observed the projection been carefully placed within the piece. Within the following section:
- Barista’s standoff.
- Business people section.
- Old couple section.
- The three barista’s at the beginning of the piece.
I watched Matt carefully place the projection on to certain props and people for added effects to the piece. I have learnt a lot today about projection and it has widened my knowledge about how to approach digital technologies. This includes recording all today’s projections for my evaluation/documentary, and for Alice to analyse the piece. With today’s blog I haven’t gone into too much depth, as I believe the projection is an amazing essence to the piece and I would not want to spoil it for the audience. I do think that every audience member will appreciate the projections throughout Coffee Shop Culture and will be amazed by it too.
Friday 5th April 2013
In today’s rehearsal of Coffee Shop Culture, I observed a break down of the show carrying on from yesterday’s rehearsal. This included:
- Chair section – Today Alice clarified movement and analysed if everybody is doing the unison section with the same movement and timing. I realised how much I love the height and lifts throughout this section, I believe it shows the dominant characters and who has won the battle of sitting on the chair.
- Retrograde section – Alice clarified movement, as the unison part needed to be tighter with timing and the angles/positioning in which the dancers performed.
I discovered today most of piece has the dancers performing in a diagonal pathway which then intersperses into swirling and circular pathways. This is similar to actual coffee and coffee cups with its shape, this shows that you can cut through the liquid but swirl the coffee to create circles within a coffee cup.
I am loving that every time I see the piece the characters build, even more so when the company rehearse in the studio. As I can observe the full character, with exposure to facial expressions and sound of breath and voice compared to the theatre. Characters had moments which I didn’t recognise until today, which made me more observant.
Now when reflecting the piece I can picture how the projection will work throughout and I am very excited to see this on Monday. I think it was the best rehearsal I’ve seen the company perform and it has made me realise how important it is to work as a group, if not this piece wouldn’t work.
During today’s rehearsal of Coffee Shop Culture, I observed a break down run of the show, including:
- Barista Trio (Two female characters and One male) – Alice clarified the movement, including spacing of each character. I found this piece contained quirky arm, hands and head gestures that helped me acknowledge that they are baristas and also each character has individual quirky personalities.
- Queue – Alice restructured this section, as well as clarifying the movement to make the unison part look flawless. I think this section gives a very busy coffee shop experience for the audience, through the characters pushing and fighting their way to the front of the queue.
- Cup Duet – This section was flawless today; the group acknowledged corrections from yesterday and applied them perfectly. I really enjoyed watching this phrase.
- Male Trio – Alice discussed notes from yesterday, clarified the movement and restructured the section.
- Girly Girls Trio – Alice clarified the movement and spacing. Alice also restructured the phrase to allow the timing with the music to be correct. I still believe this a strong comical phrase that will be a talking point with the audience.
- Old people Duet – I love this phrase as it reminds me of my grand parents and I think it will have a connection with every member in the audience. The music runs parallel to the movement of the two characters.
- Mundane Section – I found today that in the music it has a slow motion quality to it, which matches the phrase perfectly, with most of the movement containing this quality
Today I found it so refreshing that company members want to re-rehearse sections that they feel unhappy with and not move on to the next section until they are satisfied with the standard. I found that company members give feedback throughout the process which helps the dancers in that section achieve their initial character or goal set out in that phrase. Every time I observe the piece I find different elements which I didn’t recognise before. This makes me more enthusiastic every time I observe the piece, and allows me to appreciate the final product, through observing the process of how the piece has been formed together and collaborated through different media.
Wednesday 3rd April 2013
In today’s rehearsal of Coffee Shop Culture, I observed different sections within the piece:
- Duet (Alice and Jamie) – This section showed connections between two characters in the coffee shop. It indicated how the male character could understand and empathize with the female character. I believe this was shown through movements such as: Mirroring, eye contact, supporting each other and having a close connection throughout. I observed that the movement had a chasing/running and catching element to it. This could signify the characters have a love connection or a strong friendship relationship between each other.
- Tall and Small Duet – In this section it contains moments that are comical, through two very opposite characters. This section I believed showed hierarchy/dominant levels within the characters. The female character was dominant throughout and the male character seemed to adore the female character, that he would do anything to make her happy. I believe a stereotype that they fulfilled was the female character being famous and the male character playing an obsessive fan. This can be seen through the malecharacter’s movement sometimes reflecting a ‘dog like’ manner when trying to win the female character over. This could be seen as being comical, especially to a younger audience.
- Mothers Trio Section – This section included three female characters that have a mother like quality. This phrase I found very comical as it was a stereotypical mother characters and I believe it can relate to everybody’s mother in the audience. The movement contained pedestrian movement that was performed within freeze frames, snap shots and slow motion. I believe this created this comical atmosphere, by allowing the audience to engage on the characters facial expressions and what was happening within the scene.
- Male Duet – This phrase contained the Barista characters encountering a standoff. This was very comical, as the music and fast pace of the movement indicated that they were competing with each other. The movement was repetitive during this phrase, I believe this will leave the audience in suspence throughout and allow them to analyse which character will win the standoff.
- Toilet Roll Section – This included one of the mother characters, who has toilet paper attached to her shoe. The other people in the Coffee Shop are trying to make her aware of it throughout this section. This phrase I found comical as at first the queue at the coffee shop are avoiding eye contact with the mother character. This comical vibe is contained throughout when the Barista tries to inform her of the toilet paper and he gets a slap to the head for looking. The movement is pedestrian, with the characters using other methods of getting toilet paper off the mother character. This was very creative as it allowed the characters to play with different levels and other methods that were not so common.
- Mundane/Chair section – This section contained the female character that Alice plays of being lonely and singled out from society. This phrase is before the duet with Jamie’s character, as they meet for the first time within this section. This movements indicate how isolated the female character is compared to other characters as they are in unison throughout. I believe this shows unity within the group and how allowing Alice’s character to be an outcast, this is illustrated throughout. The movement contains a motif that of the group pushing one another. I think that this shows characters of an ignorant nature within a natural coffee shop setting. The quality of movement is pedestrian with lifts and supported movement. I found when analysing the phrase that these lifts and other supportive motifs are indicating that the group has to be connected and be support to each other to make this unity. This allows for example the bullies / stronger to be as one than the isolated character. At the beginning of the section it contained contraction and release movement quality; this showed a clear mundane expression. I found the music aided this expression to collaborate with the movement, with the solo of the piano and its dynamic quality.
- Business Trio – This began with the three characters emerging from up stage right, with triplet steps. I think this showed the unity as a stereotype and how similar the characters are. This phrase follows on from the toilet roll section. The movement quality is pedestrian with travel movements in unison. I believed it showed the business characters everyday busy lifestyle within a coffee shop. The Artistic Director (Alice) restructured the phrase to fit with the music.
- Cup Duet – As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, however today Alice clarified arms, hands and heads. Also Alice analysed spacing and positioning of each character, due to the layout of props on the stage and the audience perception throughout the phrase.
- Full run through of the piece Coffee Shop Culture:
In the full run of the piece, I gathered a good all round knowledge of the piece and how the transitions work between sections. It showed me how the Coffee Frantics are involved within the piece and how all the characters form together within a Coffee Shop environment.
I love how the piece goes from a dramatic, chaos and frantic environment to a calm, smooth and collective environment. That is driven by the characters within the coffee shop.
I am finding the piece even more kinaesthetically pleasing the more I observe it. I believe that it appeals to any audience and that every audience member will find different comical elements throughout.
Work has started again on our new show and during our Easter session we have a new Intern who is helping document our process. Below Emma describes her first day with us:
Today I observed the company perform sections of the piece, Coffee Culture. This included:
- Girls Trio – This involves three female dancers, playing the characters of school girls, which are going into the Coffee Shop.
- Cup Duet – This section had three duets, involving a cup and how it can be passed differently to each person.
- Male Trio – This section follows on from the cup duet. The Artistic Director (Alice) re-choreographed this section today, to shorten the phrase.
- Coffee Table phrase – This section contained movement that allowed the characters to weave in and out of each other. To play with different levels and show how a coffee shop is busy with people.
- Retro Graded – The Company practiced the retro graded phrase that is taken from one of the main motifs.
Within this rehearsal today Alice discussed each performer’s character and how the transitions from each character will be revealed to the audience. Alice went through entrances and exits to help the performers visual embody these notes.
At the beginning of the rehearsal I took part in the technique class and helped put the furniture together for the rehearsal to commence.
I believed I started to gain information today on how Alice works as a Choreographer and as an Artistic Director. Within this I observed floor patterns emerging from the movement that resembled the coffee cup shape (Circle, swirly movements). The music is very suited for the piece and reminds me of what type of music I would hear in a coffee shop, including the natural sounds. It has made me appreciate how hard it is to work with props and how important props are in setting the scene for the piece.
Overall, it was kinaesthetically pleasing to watch and has given me a passion to watch more of the piece.
With Adaire to Dance, the only thing I can be sure about is that I’ll have fun. The means and methods may vary but the playfulness of the company remains and creates a lovely place to be and work in. The recent auditions have given the company another set of wonderful dancers and it feels as though Adaire to Dance is steadily growing.
Company class every morning has been challenging and very sweaty, an energising start to the day. Then comes a short break spent in the deda gallery discussing films, swimming or whatever else the company did together last night.
Another great thing about Adaire to Dance is that Me and Georgina (the other intern) have direct input to the choreography. We have been creating “coffee frantic” and duet material for Alice to commandeer and organise in the work, and watching the rehearsals, giving our opinion and helping in many other different ways.
The great tesco expedition comes at the same time as lunch, those of us too tired or lazy to have prepared a meal cross the city to the tesco express. This tradition of taking little company trips to a shop or pasture is one I rather enjoy, as wherever Adaire goes is where the fun is to be had.
However, with full stomachs the bubbly creatives have a slow start but pick up the pace, both me and Georgina love watching it all come together in form and substance.
The piece will be full of humour, drama, hardcore contemporary, and I believe it will be a thoroughly lovely performance.
Over these last few weeks I have had the chance to take part in company class each morning which has given a real insight into the format of a professional level class and how the exercises are tailored to enable the dancers to stay agile, strong and physically able to perform to the high standard of the company but also to develop them further and offer them new ways of moving. The dancer’s technical abilities are exceptional and I am glad that I knew about Adaire to Dance’s weekly open class at Déda, so I haven’t lost all my strength and stamina over my mammoth summer holidays and just about managed to keep up (aerobics?).
I have also been involved in the research and development phase for Coffee Shop Culture which has included learning the main phrases in the piece. Also, there were lots of choreographic tasks such as using one of the duets in the piece and developing it by changing the level, timing and direction (apparently one of Alice’s favourite methods).
One of the more comical parts of week one was coffee shop research, where we went in to town and visited different coffee shops. We noted down five distinct characters in the coffee shop, the pathways of the customers, what the staff did and also asked people why they went to that particular coffee shop and how often they go. Yes, they thought we were mad but the real life inspiration; along with the observations of some frankly bizarre behaviour and traits of some members of society will make for some inspired, quirky and unique choreography from Adaire to Dance.
In the second week we were joined by other dance enthusiasts to create our role in the piece as Coffee Frantics. Basically, coffee addicts, totally wired on an excessive intake of caffeine, wide staring eyes (minimal blinking) and only able to shuffle around the space. We worked really well as a group with backgrounds which covered everything from Highland dancing, Ballroom dancing to a dancing job at Disney Land Paris. We had a lot of creative freedom interpreting the tasks given which allowed us to put our own stamp on it.
Observing the main companies creative period and rehearsals was an invaluable experience as it isn’t a widely available opportunity. It showed how diverse each of the dancer’s skills sets are and that being able to offer valuable ideas on the choreography and to know what works and what doesn’t is probably as important as being technically able.
It was interesting to see how Alice, as both artistic director and a dancer in the piece, worked and how she came out of the action to see how things looked or we filmed the section and then she watched it back to see if it was what she wanted.
Overall being an intern has been a fantastic chance to see how the company works on a day to day basis, along with the opportunity to develop a role as part of Coffee Frantics which will be performed as part of Feste. Thank you Adaire to Dance!
So week two is over and we are nearly at the end I our R&D time
So far we have made roughly 30 mins of choreography and a real range it is as well! From the energetic to the crazy Coffee Frantics!
It has been great exploring all these ideas and my dancers have been fantastic! Credit to them as well for the choreography we have devised already.
Next week we are going to tweak and polish ready for our sharing on the Thursday at 2pm. Can not believe our time is nearly over, it has been a lot of fun and hard work.
Keep an eye out for the blogs from Jake and Georgina out interns later next week.
All for now,
We are pleased to confirm that we are involved with Derby’s next pedal powered party. Come along and join in the fun! More details below:
On Your Bike
On 9 September 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad in Derby, we are having a big community party in Derby Market Place to mark the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games. The party will be free, and everyone will be welcome. And we are going to be performing at it.
The theme of the party is community empowerment and interdependence, and the event will be a live celebration of these Olympic and Paralympic values.
The theme will be illustrated in a real and visual way through the use of a bike powered generator system, a bank of 20 bikes which audience members will use to power the music on stage. One band or community group will literally empower the performance of another, and no-one can perform without the input of another.
The party will feature performances from live bands, DJs, street performers, and community groups. It will run from 4pm – 8pm and will lead into the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games, to be broadcast live on the Big Screen in the Market Place.
Come and enjoy the party. And please feel free to jump on a bike to help keep the music playing!