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!