When I awoke. (1 min read)

Serenity. I’m in a state of bliss. Soothing blues fill my room. I am not alone. Today my mind is at peace. I’m content in knowing my thoughts are relaxed and going with the flow. I let the warm tea fill my mouth with happiness for in this moment I am happy. Happy knowing that my life has turned out well up til now and I intend to keep it on this route of contentedness. There’s so much to seek in this world and the life we lead. So many possibilities. So many opportunities. Ready for us to grab at them at any moment and that is exactly what I intend to do. So my message is simply this – Get out there. Be yourself. And let life lead your way.  There’s a whole universe out there; waiting just for YOU.

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Happy Mothers Day

Today is a very special day. It’s Mothers day. A day where mothers all across the world should be showered with love and gratitude. This is something I believe we all could do a little bit more of every day. I’m not exactly innocent on this one. There have been times where I could have thanked her a lot more just for the little things in life like ironing my clothes to wear each week or putting the meals on the table every night. This is more so something I’ve become apparent to since living away from home. So guys, this is my mum. Karen.

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“Mother: One person who does the work of twenty. For free.”

I recently came across this when looking for Mothers Day gifts – Imagine your life without your mother. What would be different? This is a thought that will always scare me. Losing one parent was hard enough, I don’t think I could go through that again and be ok, no matter how old I am when that happens. My Mum is without a doubt the strongest person I know. I’ll never even begin to be able to understand what she went through on the day she found my Dad. Or how she recovered from that. But, recovered is what she did. She lost the love of her life and there isn’t a day where she doesn’t miss him but she carries on each day for her family’s sake but I want you to know – you don’t always have to be the strong one. It’s ok to break down sometimes. We’ll all be here to pick you back up again. Just as you would for us. I can’t imagine not being able to pick up the phone and not being able to hear her voice or know about her day or mither her with mine before even asking how she’s feeling. I can’t imagine not having the conversations sat on the end of her bed with her telling me to “Stop winding Tilly up or get out of my room” or sat having a glass of wine on a weekend with her in the living room on a weekend when I am home. I can’t imagine her not being there to come and watch my shows or make me a cup of tea whenever I’m upset. My whole life would be different. Since being a single parent, my mum has done everything. She’s overcome a lot and still managed to keep everybody happy and a loving home. She’s made everything work because she’s had to even when she wasn’t always ‘working’ herself. She got through the heartache and grief and pulled through. I’m extremely proud to call you my mother.

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The time we went ice skating even though she can’t ice skate that well.

With living miles away from home I miss her every day even if we do always have a good moan at each other but that’s because were both so similar in so many ways. I never gave her enough thanks over the years and I could have told her I loved her a lot more and for that I’m sorry but deep down I love her more than I will ever be able to describe. I look up to her in so many ways and respect her so much. We all do. She’s the voice of reason even if we don’t always know it at the time. She has done an amazing job with us all – if I do say so myself 😉 Dad would be applauding you to the heavens right now. She truly is the best person in the world. She’s my go to when in need of advice and always has my back.  She’s always there to run me around dropping me off at my friends’ houses or to pick me up from work or to pick me up when I’ve been out all night in Warrington. This is something I haven’t given you enough thanks for over the years. She was always there to cheer us on at sports day and be there for us at the parents meetings. She was there for my first day of school right the way through to my last dropping me off to collect my results. She was there to watch me in my first nativity right the way through to my last Show at Priestley College. She has and always will be there.

So take today to enjoy yourself, take a nice long hot shower because I know you don’t like baths that much and enjoy the day ahead. Today’s all about you. You’re one of a kind and I wouldn’t change you for the world. Thank you for being you, you’re the most beautiful woman I know, inside and out. I LOVE you to the moon and back xxx

14 reasons I LOVE YOU

I LOVE you because you nurtured me since the start and will continue to do so as I grow.

I LOVE you because no matter how tired you are, you still make time to put us first – even if we don’t always know it yet.

I LOVE you because when things get tough you soldier on – an attribute you have passed on to me.

I LOVE you because you always let me sneak stuff in the shopping trolley and pretend you never noticed.

I LOVE you because you always pick up the phone when I need you the most.

I LOVE you because you always worry about me and ask how I’m doing.

I LOVE you because you’re a fantastic Mum and a wonderful Nan.

I LOVE you because you gave me my voice. I got it from the best.

I LOVE you because you introduced me to some of the best femae artists I have ever heard and you always let me steal your karaoke songs.

I LOVE you because youre the most hardworking person I know and have been all your life – a bit like me (unlike the others lol.)

I LOVE you because you always have a spare birthday card whenever I forget to buy one for my friends.

I LOVE you because without you my whole life would be a mess. You’re the stability in my life and I will ALWAYS need you.

I LOVE you because you always believed in me and did everything you could to help me reach my dreams.

I LOVE you because you are my mother and I wouldn’t have you any other way.

 

P.S. Fellow readers, every once in a while remind your mum that you love her. She brought you into this world and gave you all of her love and always will do. No matter how old you get you’re still somebody’s son or somebody’s daughter so take the time to repay her for all she’s done. You wouldn’t be here without her. Have a great Sunday.

Coffee Shop Rambling (1 min read)

As I sit here in the coffee shop on this pleasant Wednesday morning my mind wanders to other things than the bitter smell of coffee beans being pressed. It looks towards the future. A topic everybody yearns to know but can’t control. You can do as much planning and as much goal setting as you would like in order to achieve your dreams but the future is out of your hands. So today, after my early morning yoga class, I’ve chosen to live in the moment and be free of my thoughts and inhibitions. I’m surrounded by noise. But in this noise, I find comfort knowing I’m alone with these thoughts amongst the vast sea of people chatting and sipping their morning fix. My mind drifts towards right now and how much of a blessed day I’m currently having.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY NAN

Whilst I know I’m a bit late on the #InternationalWomensDay I would like to introduce you to one of the many women in my life that have influenced me massively. This in particular woman has to be up there at the top of my list. This my Nan. Today is her birthday (as you probably guessed from the title lol.) I’m writing this post to let her know how much I love and appreciate her because every once in a while it’s nice to be reminded that you’re one #AMAZING human being. So this one’s for you Fre x

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“A little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.”
My Nan is a superhero. Despite being late to my birth she’s always been there for me whenever I’ve needed her most. She’s my best friend. A woman I can literally tell anything to. Some people find it a chore taking the time to speak to their grandparents but I most definitely DON’T. It’s quite sad really, that some people get old and are forgotten about. Visits slowly decline due to busy lives and the people who were there for you before you were even born end up being all alone. But I know that will never be the case in our family. God forbid if that happens to me when I age. (Future Family: know that once I pass, I will haunt you if you ever let me get old alone.) However, my Nan is very much still in her youth and is the best drinking partner anyone could ask for. She’s a ‘Progress Coordinator’ at Dorset Gardens and she makes it very clear that that’s her title – and so she should she’s worked extremely hard all her life. Whether that be babysitting for her elder siblings children or delivering newspapers around her block. She has so many fantastic stories to tell and that’s why I love sitting on her sofa in the back room, sipping tea together and casually chatting. You learn so much from your elders, you really do. I sometimes forget that they’ve lived the life we live and know a lot more about it than we do. It’s never a dull moment chatting away with both my Nan and my Grandad whilst watching Eggheads. They wind each other up in the best way. It’s hilarious. I want to have that kind of love they have for each other when I’m older. It’s beautiful.
Now my Nan will always say I was TERRIBLE when I was younger, a right nuisance. And YES she was correct. She always speaks of the times I would wake up first and how she would have to take me away from Jason when he was sleeping because I’d purposely wake him up. Or how you could never take me anywhere because I would go on and on and on. And to be fair that’s still very true today haha. I would always have to be entertained. Growing up we were always at her home and she would always cook us our teas or pick us up from school. I remember often peeling her vegetables for the tea and painting her nails. I guess I’ve just always been close to my Nan, I see so much of myself in her. My Dad was very fond of her as well. He loved her like a mother and she loved him back like a son. When we did go on holidays together it was always my Nan, my Mum and my Dad going off getting drinks leaving my Gramps with the kids. Thinking back, we did have the most amazing times and I’ve got memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I miss those holidays. She, alongside my Grandad, was there for us when we lost my Dad. They always have been and they always will be. She was a rock during that time and kept everything together. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain how thankful we all are for that. I hope you give him a good crack when you eventually see him up there from me.
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Always been the best of pals – celebrating my birthday back in the 90’s.

I absolutely love spending time with my Nan and Grandad. Whether it be days out to Widnes for fish and chips or nights at the pub. They really are party animals and I have many stories to tell about their ordeals. I hope that I’m exactly like my Nan and Grandad when I grow up they’re the best. Trips to Wales – most weekends, are fabulous. I’m always laughing when I’m with them, they’re just so infectious. We always go the market that’s a MUST and she buys some real good steals there. My Nan stays in the caravan usually if we’re taking trips to the beach – My Grandad is more of the adventurous one – his latest thrill has been boats. Gotta love him. She often tells of a time when he hired out bikes in Cyprus. Let’s just say it didn’t end well. Sitting in the club of a night is always funny, taking the piss out of each other is also a MUST. We’ve even got Jason up there dancing once. What I have learned is that my Nan remembers EVERYTHING no matter how drunk she gets. She can drink for England, she really can. So you’re always reminded of that embarrassing thing you did or said the night before.

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The time when she slept in the awning and woke up with a bad back. SORRY

Since being here in London she’s been one of the many people I’ve missed. I miss being able to ring her up and say “Hey Nan, I’m just finishing work now, can I pop round?” to which she usually replies “Oh Ey George, I’m up to my eyes in it, I’ve got loads to do today. You’ll have to go when your Mother comes” and I’ll follow with “Oh I see doesn’t matter then.” To which she usually says “Oh you can come if you want, see you in a minute.” When I arrive she’s smiling and putting the kettle on. She proceeds to tell me about the latest show she has been watching and we usually watch bits of it, getting me hooked. I must admit, she does watch the most amazing shows!! She makes the best poached eggs as well! Before we know it its time for me to go and she exclaims that she is going to bed before anyone else comes. This is why I love her. She never fails to make me smile.

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Trip to see ‘The Bodyguard’ at the Liverpool Empire.
I wrote this little something for you inside your birthday card but I can assure you, these are merely a few of the countless things I love about you. I hope you have the most amazing day and hopefully get a chance to get your feet up and relax. Once I’m earning the big bucks I’ll whisk you away, I promise you that.

Happy Birthday Nan,

All my love – George x

9 things I LOVE about you.

1. I LOVE to see you laugh & smile – it’s contagious.
2.I LOVE the way you cheer me up when you find me with a frown & always raise my spirits when life has got me down.
3. I LOVE how your home is always open to me as well as your biscuit box.
4. I LOVE how you drink your bitter in 1/2 pints because its more ‘Lady-Like.’
5. I LOVE how you’re always proud of me & strive for my success but I want you to know that it is I that should be proud of you for all you have done for us.
6. I LOVE the way you cook fantastic dinners & make superb cups of tea.
7. I LOVE you for your stories, our drunken outings, our karaoke duets & our chats about life and TV shows.
8. I LOVE how you bend over backwards, even when your energy is low, to keep your family happy.
9. I LOVE you for your patience & honesty but mostly I love you for the way that you love me & because you’re not only my Nan, you’re my best friend.

Colab 2017: The Tempest

The act of collaboration involves the process of working together with other individuals to create something through your project. Here at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance that involved the joint creation between Musicians, Dancers and Musical Theatre students. I opted to choose a project that was open to all and that featured every aspect of the conservatoire’s departments. That lead me to ‘The Tempest’ – “Musicians and dancers will respond to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and create an immersive after-dark performance and installation, both inside and outside the Laban Building.”. I figured what better way than to kick-start my Shakespearian love than to start early with this project before completing my Shakespeare assessment next term. All of the projects I opted for involved contemporary dance; a style I’ve missed practising since joining the musical theatre course. It was a joy to emerge myself right back into the contemporary dance world after not doing it in so long. My Project was formed to get people from all of the different courses to come together and create something magical, and that’s exactly what we did. All this was possible due to the help and spirit from everybody involved but most importantly our team leader Monika Błaszczak.

With everything that is going on in the world today we wanted to get the message across that Shakespeare is still very relevant and can be accessible for all, not just for Shakespeare-lovers. That’s why we decided to create both music and dance as an aural/visual telling of the story as opposed to traditional spoken language. Through this piece, we try to break down barriers between people and open the borders between us, building on our differences and combining our strengths to show the combination of qualities and build something much greater than our own individual capabilities. By finding things that bring us together in an ever increasingly divisive world we seek similarities through the tale being told. Contextually, Caliban is forced into servitude after Prospero and Miranda’s arrival and enslavement of him, essentially creating a colonised island to suit those in power. What’s beautiful about our group is that we are all of different nationalities and the fact we created this work as a group highlights the importance that we need to welcome our neighbours and far off neighbours instead of closing our borders and building a wall.

Day 1

Today we started off in a group discussing what The Tempest was all about and what we wanted to show to our audience. We decided to focus on four key elements to the plot – Prospero, Miranda, Caliban and the storm. As a group, we watched Peter Greenaway’s ‘A walk through Prospero’s Library.’ This was to give us an inspiration into the world of The Tempest and all the different characters that we could possibly conjure for Prospero’s installation. I found this really helped me get a sense of regality in some ways and allowed me to come up with a lot more intricate and exquisite characteristics and movement. After our discussion, we split off into Musicians, Dancers and MT students. As Mt students, we were given the option of creating a scenario between the three of us based on the play or to join either side of the other creatives. I decided to point my toes in the direction of the dancers. This is where the fun began to occur. The musicians started to improvise a piece based on the idea of a storm. In ‘The Tempest’ Prospero conjures up a storm leaving the royals shipwrecked in order to seek revenge. As dancers, we were told to also improvise what it would be like to be trapped in a storm – we weren’t limited to what we could express, we just had the idea of a storm in mind. This was a nice way of just letting go and it was nice to just throw yourself into the vast sea. There were times where we complimented the music through movement and also times where we worked against and each felt beautiful in their own way. There was a real sense of synergy between the two cohorts of people. This was something we later picked up on and discussed as a group.

What exactly was the connection between dancers and musicians? Do the dancers follow the musicians or do the musicians follow the dancers? This sparked more questions relating to the actual structure of the music. Should the musicians have set music or should they have musical freedom to be influenced by the dancers and match/follow the journey they are creating? This was very much an experimental process meaning we would only know once we had tried the ideas out. Which is exactly what we did, only this time as dancers we were given a bit more substance to think about. Monika placed images relating to a storm and ‘The Tempest’ inside the island we had created with our personal belongings in the room. This really helped me get more of a sense of the storm and the idea of being enclosed on an island with no means of escape. I found that the second time we improvised, with the images in mind, it felt much more natural and gave me more ideas to bounce off. The first time I felt like I was repeating a lot of movements without really thinking about their meaning or how they could be perceived by an audience. Therefore, I was performing much more for myself internally than for the audience who would be viewing the piece. Having said this, this ‘selfishness’ in performing for myself really helped me establish a sense of character and vulnerability on the first few days in which I was then able to export this inner performance out to the audience which felt a lot more authentic and real as it came from inside of me and was a truer reality of what I was trying to get across to the audience. Before breaking for lunch, we discussed the importance of the visual representation to the audience and how we wanted them to view the performance – with the dancers inside across the building dancing in the widows and the audience accompanying the musicians outside watching from there before heading back into the building making our piece very site specific and theatre in promenade in some ways. We also discussed that th needed to be a build-up, both musically and dynamically through dance, to get the audience enticed from the get go.  Another query mentioned was the actual overall structure of the storm. As a group, we felt that dynamically there had to be moments of softer/ quieter sounds to match the minimal movement that some dancers created and felt that the score first presented to the group was a bit too much. It felt as though it was constantly at a certain level of noise and tempo without really going anywhere. To rectify this, we suggested the idea of as dancers we would pick 3 different motifs and when the musicians would see their selected dancer perform their movement they would match it however they felt it made them feel. However, speculation arose because the dancers wouldn’t be able to see the musicians due to the nature of our piece, nor would they hear them that well due to the proxemics between dancers and musicians. another topic brought up was the idea of the story we were telling the audience – did we want to stick to the structure of the tempest or devise installations of different themes inspired from The Tempest featuring key characters Prospero, Caliban and Miranda. This was to be discussed the following day.

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Returning from lunch, we got our creative juices flowing in a kind of symbolic way. Going into the studio we were asked to get out our notepads and pens and think of a time in our lives where we were at our loneliest. Monika played a track that got me deep into a thought-provoking state of mind. In this calming moment, I took the pen to paper and started writing about the latter half of 2012, a devastating year for myself after losing Whitney Houston in February to losing my Dad to suicide in the November. When my Dad died, I felt as though I wasn’t really there/ connected to my family. I felt like I had to be the glue and be strong for everyone in order to get through it. I had such an amazing support at home during this time through my grandparents, aunties, uncles and family friends. Despite all this I still felt alone. It was only during the night’s I could cry myself to sleep. I feel as though this has affected me massively in terms of emotions as I always shut off my emotions until I reach the point of break. I let it all build up and keep it to myself until I crack. I still find it really difficult to cry over serious matters in front of people however I don’t think I’m emotionally shut off, I’m a very empathetic person when it comes to others just not really when it comes down to myself. I like to keep on moving forward  and deal with it all later and act as though everything is fine until it evenetually is. In some ways, I was in a state of isolation, I shut off my emotions when in company, I was very much focussed on getting my family through it. Because we had to. I didn’t really grieve at all during this period. At times, it felt like I was floating through the air, I was smiling and being present and holding conversations but emotionally I just wasn’t there.  After writing this we were asked to improvise movement that symbolised what we had written in which we would later present to our peers. For me personally this was an emotional experience. I was delivering the movements and suddenly I lost control of my breath, it was oozing out of me turning in to quiet cries for help. It took me back to being in that moment of isolation wanting to emotionally being there but restricting myself however this time it was all flowing out of me. It was quite overwhelming and I cried a little to myself but it was the most honest performance I believe I’ve ever given in my life. It’s in those moments that you really do see just how far you’ve come as a human being in this life you lead. Watching the others around me there were both moments of slow continuous movements and some erratic up tempo dynamic differences. It felt very raw. It was a moment between us all where we could each see a time where we were in need of help and I believe it helped me get to know my peers a lot more. Furthering from this we picked out different ways in which we could dynamically contrast through repetition, stillness, variation canon and other ways. We played around a lot with this idea over the next couple of days to embody the movement and the spirit of what we had created more.

Day 2

Arriving at 10AM we were presented with a piece of text from the Tempest.

Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again. And then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.

Myself, Florence and Barney lead a vocal warmup and focus games to get the voice and the mind working as efficiently as possible. This really helped with the articulation and diction of the text and helped create a clearer sound. As a group, we worked around the score created to the text and played about with different ways of presenting this quote to the audience. I personally felt that if done correctly this could have worked quite nicely but sometimes the lack of commitment to the text – because this was possibly new to some people and the idea that there’s always a bit of fear when it comes to Shakespeare. However, this didn’t exactly show the text off as well as it should have in my opinion and left people a bit depleted about the experience. We were then given different quotes from the play and we were asked to interpret them in any way we could. Some of the material that was created worked really well and some didn’t. I felt as though it was a nice idea to try out and incorporate the acting side of things with stylistic dance and vocals however it didn’t always work out as well as it potentially could have. Later in the day we regrouped to work on the dancing of the storm. Individually we selected 3 movements from our choreography of loneliness and amalgamated them together as a routine where we would seek out where we could change them more dynamically, add in more stillness or reduce the tempo of the movements.  We played with the idea of all being in unison also. However, I felt like this stopped the individual creativity and freedom the piece had. I felt like when we were all performing it was much more beautiful to interpret the movement ourselves and let the spontaneity of the movement play out in front of you naturally finding moments of unison/ canon and different expressions. This felt much more organic to me and a lot of the other dancers agreed on the matter. We also had to take into consideration the fact that we won’t be able to see each other dance due to the framed windows and us all being dotted about the building so each time we did it we would never truly be in unison.  We did however present our two different versions of the amalgamation to the musicians to get their opinions on the matter. The verdict was one that was of mixed opinion.

Day 3

Returning to the studio we returned to a few more focus games lead by the MT students to get us back in the zone. This was a fun way of engaging everybody into the room to get the hype back up about the piece of theatre we were creating. Monika also lead an energizing game across the room in which we had to copy the person’s, prior to us in the circle, movement and variety it in our own way. This was a good way to get us warmed up further. today was very much focussed on Prospero’s scene. Earlier in the week we received news from the CoLab leader that the spaces we originally wanted to perform in for our different sections were no longer available to us on the performance night so this meant that the Library, conference room and another space couldn’t be used. Instead of staying defeated we decided to utilise what we did have and that was new possibilities. Laban features a fantastic spiral staircase and we decided that once the audience arrived they would be situated upon the ramp which looks directly onto the staircase. We decided this was our new home for Prospero’s library scene in which we were all figures of his imagination like in Peter Greenaway’s dance film. Using this as inspiration we each claimed a position on and around the staircase. I chose a section of the wall and railings. This was a creative moment for us all we improvised from scratch to the musicians score and created a showing of what we had interpreted from the film. Monika sat out amongst others to get the full view of the presentation and discussed with us everything that worked and everything that didn’t from her perspective. We then discussed how it felt for us as dancers – What I really liked about this process was that we always discussed how it made us feel, what we felt didn’t work and what did together it was very much a collaborative process. I also found that by just improvising we created something beautiful and each time we rehearsed this piece new things occurred as well as what worked from before so it was very much adding on to what we already had each time. It was an evolution that could possibly carry on evolving if we had had more time to work on it. To me that says a lot about the team and project we were involved in. it was special. it was magical. Monika mentioned to me to portray the idea of the palace’s cat and this opened up different ways to showcase this regality and elegance in a quirky kind of way.  I really enjoyed swinging myself across the railings and the wall creating weird positions through dance. It caught the eye of on-goers and they often stood in amazement wondering what on earth was going on. After this we decided to try out dancing our storm sequence in a different space. We decided on the windows on the exterior of the building outside. When returning to our actual spaces we found this really helped us in the embodiment of the movement and sense of imitations within the window frame.

In the afternoon, we returned to the same quotes from yesterday and switched groups to see if we could devise anything new from them. Personally, in terms of creativity and the overall concept of the project I found this the least appealing to do. I felt, like yesterday, it was fun to do and could have been effective if done full-out. Having said this there were some really effective pieces created from an acting point of view. A piece formed from the quote – “Ferdinand, With hair up-staring – then like reeds, not hair – 
Was the first man that leaped; cried ‘Hell is empty and all the devils are here.’” In which Florence spoke the text and repeated it a further two times changing it each time. In the beginning, it was clear. The time after that it was a bit disjointed but you could still make out what she was saying. The last time she couldn’t speak the words and struggled to sound the words. this created a thought-provoking piece of theatre. Meanwhile there where dancers recreating this struggle and a musician, playing beautifully might I add, accompanying the performance. It was a great way of utilising all of our skills and combining them to make a solid performance and background in to Shakespeare’s play. there was something about this piece that just worked and it was challenging in all the best ways. Another piece involved us closing our eyes in a circle. Ellada went around the room whispering ‘Do you love me?’. This was an experience of the senses and left the group wondering what had just happened. This was something we thought would be nice to play about with in regards to our audience. At the end, there was a note left in the middle of the circle. Ellada knew someone would be curious to go over and see what the note was all about and we thought it could be nice to record the audience’s reaction if we added this to our piece. In the end, we decide we were going to leave letters saying ‘open me’ scattered across the performance spaces to spark curiosity into The Tempest as a piece. Due to our international family, we had now formed we wanted to play about with creating a piece that was relatable to our heritage using the quotes from the play. As part of the British team we created a very British dance similar to those danced at the palaces against a Shakespearian quote. The international team spoke in their native tongues as part of a conversation of the quotes. Personally, I found the international team’s portrayal really moving, it was such a nice moment of neighbourly love and a real sense of community. We then proceeded to the ramp to try out the different pieces in the space. Some definitely worked and some fell flat.

Day 4

Day 4 was focussed on transitions and going about our movement in more creative ways. Key moments of the day consisted of dancing outside the Laban building on the grass and the hills. I chose to be on a hill looking out onto the nearby surroundings. The wind today was very, very powerful and performing this piece was almost like a battle. This was quite symbolic as we all battle through that idea of loneliness and the struggles we faced were like the struggles battling the wind. There were countless times where the wind knocked me down but time after time I continued to pick myself up and continue the movement. As soppy as this may sound this experience was very moving. rehearsing the storm sequence here was exhilarating. We had all the space in the world, we were alone yet the wind kept trying to put us off. For me I got a real sense of this struggle. we regrouped and discussed the experience. Florence said that in the corner of her eye she saw me from the opposite side of the grassy hills perform the back-bend release against the wind on the edge of the hill and it looked like I was portraying the idea of suicide but there was a beauty in this. I closed my eyes throughout this and danced what I felt in that moment but in the times, that I did open my eyes I also captured moments in my gaze where all inhibitions were gone, we were just a group of people dancing like nobody was watching. It was truly beautiful. there was something quite spiritual and zen-like about this. Adapting from this we then took our movement to another part of Laban. This time: a wall along a corridor. We were confined. Dancing inches away from each other in comparison to the vast amount of space we had on the hills. Again, closing our eyes, we tried to find moments that worked. We did this 3 times, each time reducing the space we had. Sitting out and watching the group perform really allowed you to get a sense of the themes being presented and everyone danced differently yet there were moments of similarity found in unknown unison. Things just happened without people knowing and this simplicity to me was really effective. When I was doing the task, I felt like closing my eyes really helped. I was lost in my confinement but at the same time I felt free and as though I had all the space in the world and when I did bump into people it didn’t matter, we carried on and the entanglement of bodies created beautiful imagery. You were in a way restricted but I felt like I had a real sense of the others around me and I believed it gave the choreography a fresher appeal in terms of embodiment and visuals.

Day 5

By this point we felt as a group we were ready for the performance. all our efforts and hard worked seemed to be paying off and we didn’t want to lose the freshness of the improvised material by over rehearsing on the performance day. We did however do a full run through of the piece also changing the musicians’ positions as we felt that we could have the musicians on the stairs for the storm so that the audience could hear it better and then have them outside with the rest of the audience on the second performance of the night. The rest was up to the night’s performance.

Conclusion

CoLab for me has been an amazing week throughout. I’ve made some great friends and created something I was really proud of. In the beginning the main purpose of the project was to show a telling of the tempest and its themes and I think as a collective we worked really hard to achieve this both musically and physically. I think we captured the essence of The Tempest quite well. The process was very much that of an improvised experimentation from the start of the project. We were constantly looking for new ways to improve the choreography or differentiating between the dynamics of both the music and the movement. We started by improvising material and enhancing and evolving this throughout the week and I found this to be a really effective use of time in terms of getting movement created on time and exploring the text in a way that’s unique to us as a group. I really liked how we used a very site specific promenade piece of theatre. It got the audience intrigued and I feel as though this could lead to further future directions. Perhaps during an interval of The Tempest play or as part of a Shakespearian festival. It could also be used to produce a dance film about the Tempest or a staged danced production. It’s a quick way of summarising key themes and plot of the play in a creative way that is accessible to all. It helps easily identify the different relationships and characteristics within the play.

To check out more footage from the week click here.

Thankyou team, it was amazing to work with each and every one of you.