I promised myself I wouldn't get emotional. So I didn't... (he coughs and looks down un-suspiciously)
10-20th August saw Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream at Curve, directed by Nick Winston. I had the chance to choreograph with Mel Knott, and it was truly amazing to work with a massive community cast, including 30 some dancers!
The biggest cast I've worked with previously was 6... so shaping the choreography with so much young talent was a big departure, and being in the moment responding to Nick (who himself is an award winning choreographer) threw me way out of my comfort zone, though, hopefully, no one noticed. Calm as a Hindu cow on the outside, inside frazzled like a misplaced passport before flight.
It was great to see how Mel and Nick worked, which I learnt more about choreo than I'd like to admit, and the dancers' endless energy and raw style were really humbling! Also, the collaboration bringing mythpunk hiphop and contemporary dance to life, came without any passive aggressive face or back stabbery- with 3 choreographers in the room, that's worth a high five.
Press night reviews have all been strong, with a bunch of 5 stars, and yes, it's easy to be kind with community shows, but I was completely drawn in by the performances from these young actors and dancers. I mean, I am going to be biased... But that's a part of being in a community. Using positivity and support with wild prejudice...
I got a little emotional watching them on the last night. You could see in their eyes, so many will be inspired by this experience to hold a life-long love affair with theatre. I wonder if they know how difficult it will be, how precious these moments that will guide the way between disappointments, and like any love affair, how life affirming.
I'm happy to announce (finally) Southbank's double bill of Julia Cheng's and my work for China Changing Festival, Oct 7th!
Big thanks to Arts Council England for their ongoing support!