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Up and Running
Now that our outdoor work has finished for another year, we are ready to get on the road and start our brand-new triple bill, RUN. Going from the studio to the theatre is a huge step, but an exciting one.
There is only so much you can do and only so far you can go in the studio before getting a chance to finally perform it on stage for the first time in front of an audience. It’s an amazing feeling, adrenaline kicking in to create something new as a company, it’s premiere time.
This is now my second tour with 2Faced Dance and a fair few things have changed since our last contract. Myself, Ed and Jason have stayed with the company and have been working together for just over 2 years now, for this new tour we have gained two exceptional dancers Kai Tomioka and Louis Parker-Evans. Getting started with the new company was all very quick and before we knew it we were finishing off 3 months of creation and prepping for our first ever show together… Not to forget Valerie the Van, our new tour van, making life on the road a lot easier for the techies.
We had one week to tech our new show, RUN, this means being able to transfer everything from our studio in Hereford to our premiere venue in Ipswich (DanceEast) with all lighting, props, spacing etc. the list goes on. To bring you up to speed, I will give you a brief schedule of the week and what we, as dancers, must be ready for. The technical crew have a ‘get in’ day, getting all lights and props ready in the theatre so this is all sorted before we are needed. For this tech week, we were scheduled from 9:30-6:00 for 3 days before the first show, this is giving each piece of the triple brill a whole day to rehearse in the theatre and letting the choreographers have their last few adjustments.
The tech week started off with a new duet created by Rebecca Evans on myself and Jason Boyle, Kai has briefly spoken about this in his previous blog. For Rebecca’s work, ’The Other’, it was essential to have time to work with the props (5 handheld lights) as we had not had them fully working up until this point. Throughout the piece the lights are thrown, caught, and spun all over the space, so a challenge for us as dancers was getting used to the darkness on stage and using the lights we have in the work to show what Rebecca was looking for. There is a section in this work where I am being led by Jason, him throwing the lights anywhere in the space for me to arrive last minute to either catch or comfort the light.
Getting this piece started on tour has been great fun as we could play with characterisation a lot more than in the studio, we find something new every time we perform it. As this is the second piece in the running order, after Tamsin Fitzgerald’s ‘From Above’, it is my job to have all the lights set up and ready to go, 6 lights in total, 5 on stage and 1 spare. I prepare this while the guys are on stage performing Tamsin’s piece. A quick turn over in the running order is needed for me and Jason, going from Rebecca’s work to Lenka Vagnerova’s, 5 minutes to get changed and ready for a new piece.
Lenka Vagnerova’s work ‘Fallen Angels’ was next to tech and rehearse, we hadn’t seen Lenka for some time, so there was always going to be a lot to work on in the time we had with her. We went through movement material with Lenka, to get it back into our bodies, and certain sections she wanted to work on. This piece has a lot of characterisation within it, so as dancers we needed to remember what these were. It has been amazing to finally perform this piece and I look forward to finding new things along the journey of our tour.
When we finish the show we all have our own jobs to do for the get out of the theatre, so mine is to ensure all costume is ready to be taken away and that there are no problems with them. As a team, we pack away the dance floor and light boxes into the van. We then refuel on food and maybe a good old pint, and give our bodies some rest before we shoot off to the next location to do it all again.
From the start of tour up until now we have done 6 shows, 6 out of 12 for this first part of tour. Somehow we are already half way through. We are next off to Tewkesbury and then York (a new venue for the company to perform at) then Brecon, Bournemouth, Jersey and Leeds. We have had great feedback so far and we look forward to carrying it onwards and upwards from here.
By Jack Humphrey, Dance Artist with 2Faced Dance Company