We stand on the shoulders of giants, and also normal sized people...
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We stand on the shoulders of giants, and also normal sized people.

2 weeks of R&D done, and I'm looking back at footage of us learning new skills from invited artists, mentors, and each other. We spent time with Charlie Wheeller and Beren D'Amico from Barely Methodical Troupe and Kaveh Rahnama from Nearly There Yet, and we've stood on them all.


Standing on them is remembering what it feels like to be thrown in at the deep end.  It's been well over 2 decades since I was taught how to swim like that, and learning new things, it appears, involves just as much quiet whimpering and open begging... thankfully we live in a time when notions of 'manhood' are being deconstructed, and here at Wayward Thread, we pride ourselves at demonstrating diverse complex reactions to stressful situations...


Another ordinary-sized person who we have stood on is John Berkavitch, whose mentoring has brought so much depth out of our characters and story-telling.  I stood all over him.

So much to do for the show, and more intensely than ever, I am caught between the need to eat (which my immune system treats as an act of war), insomnia (which is the cost of eating), a bleeding eye (from the side-effects of auto-immune meds), and the endless marathon of admin and choreography.  Except there is more chaffing.  Internal nipple chaffing... of the mind...

Having said that, frustrated and grateful can be a kind of zen, and seeing the world through one good eye reminds me that perspective is everything.


Luckily, as much as I have been standing on the shoulders of others, my dancers also stand on me, so I don't have time for indulgent wordy metaphor-driven self-reflection.  Time to get back to the studio, and under some feet.

Shout out to my dancers Vladimir Gruev, Dan Phung, and Andrei Roman.

Si Rawlinson
Shakespeare and Mythpunk Fairy Dance

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

The fairies again stole the stage with their mesmerising fusion of hip-hop and contemporary dance. Each pixie expertly captured the mystical atmosphere, altogether it was truly a pleasure to behold.
— Molly Daydreams
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Si Rawlinson
Southbank with Julia Cheng, and the virtues of mole-rats...
Julia Cheng

Julia Cheng

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!

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It's been a long slog, and it's teaching me how unspecial and talentless a snowflake I am.  It's teaching me to appreciate anything that looks like talent as that is the sign of years of slogging away. The surreal experience I've been having is standing in front of a stage and telling myself, "One day you're going to be on there with you're own work..." which is definitely a lie.  And worse, it comes out like a line from Step Up (because I have classy taste in movies).  And later I'm standing on these stages, mouthing the words, "It's happening now..." and, "I guess this bunch of misfits can really step up..."

Ok, not that last bit.

I've watched artists out of my league, thinking I'll do something with this person, and down the line it happens, like working for Julia Cheng, who is so fresh, and whose work ethic and leadership of House of Absolute is daily inspiration.

My point is, I feel like I'm blindly digging my way through the dance industry, like the mole-rat blindly digs his way through life: with great purpose and often looking like a ball bag.  The analogy needs work... but it captures the feeling.

A big influence and mentor, John Berkavitch (above - performing 'Wrong'

A big influence and mentor, John Berkavitch (above - performing 'Wrong'

I'm doing a 30 min showcase of Ink at the Southbank Centre, 7th October, 5:00pm.

The full feature of Ink will be premiered at Curve Oct 20th.

So, listen, me, "One day you will do the Barbican, and something with Bjork. And you will become a worthy mentor for others as you're mentored now."

The Bjork thing definitely seems like a lie, but if I keep channeling the mole-rat... maybe, just maybe...

(Insert caption involving unsubtle humor here...)

(Insert caption involving unsubtle humor here...)

Si Rawlinson
Starting a Blog

So after a decade of thinking about it, I finally did it.  I researched how to write blogs for weeks now and am excited to make a hard-hitting debut into the world of dance-blogs for a small but committed audience!

Ok, when I say research, I mean I filled out the website template.

And when I say writing about dance, I mean writing indulgently about myself.

And when I say audience, I mean a readership of zero.

Wooo!

So if you're reading this... I should probably take this more seriously.

Iceland Shoot

With the incredibly talented Dan Lowenstein, Oli Parker, and Vladimir Gruev-

We went from filming in Iceland from the 12th-14th July for 'Ink' straight to performing at the Secret Garden Party, so we're only just processing all the footage now.

It was easily the most brutal shoot I've ever worked on with torrential rain, cold temperatures, and the unforgiving volcanic shores of Vik, to the glass covered concrete outside the Opera House, Harpa, in Reykjavik.

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As an added challenge, I normally have to cook everything I eat because of an auto-immune disorder I am gifted with, and I ended up living off rice cakes and cigarettes for a while.  Being a non-smoker I was a total amateur, but after trying really hard I got pretty good, and could smoke almost an entire cigarette without feeling nauseous!

I stayed in Iceland for 3 more days after my team went home.  I stood and watched the iconic geysers, peered at waterfalls and fault lines, stared out of lagoons, beautiful and bleak.  After the hustle of the shoot, it missed the stress I'd grown to love, and cigarettes lost their magic.

Bring on the editing!

Si Rawlinson
Nearly There Yet Funding

Nearly There Yet, @nearlythereyet

"We are extremely excited to announce the winners of the first ever Dare to Devise scheme. Truan Jay Mathias, Si Rawlinson, Lucy Gamsby Frost, and Lucie N'duhirae will each receive financial support up to £4,000 mentoring from Kaveh Rahnama, two weeks of development time at Proteus Creation Space and support in growing their ideas over the coming year from both Proteus and Nearly There Yet. What an exciting year it's going to be.

The pic below is of Si Rawlinson, who will be receiving support to develop Ink."

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Si Rawlinson