Sunday evening I meet a tired and dusty looking Julian at his workshop to have a first glance at the set that has so far just been in our heads and on drawings, I couldn’t help being a bit nervous. As I marveled at it’s beautifully engineered motion echoing the waves at sea, I tried to shush the little scared voice in my head saying ‘but how are we ever going to be able to dance on it?!’
I can’t really fully put into words the magic feeling you get when something you’ve envisaged becomes a reality. I had the same feeling in my previous work Built to Last- when I’d finally made the melting sculpture a reality, I just sat there for over an hour watching it melt and felt simultaneously awed by it’s existence and terrified with the task of then choreographing something to interact with it. (Check out the link on Related Sites to see how that turned out).
Once we’d gotten it into the studio and assembled it the raft orientation began, we quickly realised we’d need to adapt to the set and it was important to establish rules for working on it…so far these are as follows: -
1. Announce when you’re getting on- “getting on”
2. Announce when you’re falling off- “off off off”
3. Follow the person who’s falling off so you don’t get flipped off
4. “Away” means please move away from me because I am in danger
True to form Julian has created a thing of substantial beauty and by substantial I mean it won’t be easily broken that’s for sure. We’ve been putting it through its paces in the studio since Monday and so far the set is fine and we’re the ones who are a bit worse for wear.
It’s now Thursday and we’ve had to adapt our focus for the day - I’m going for an urgent appointment at the Osteopath this afternoon. I’m unable to take weight fully on my left foot this morning but hopefully he’ll say it’s a simple thing and I’ll be back atop the raft tomorrow. I thought I’d blog about it because injury is a very real danger for any dancer and can be one of the most difficult things to deal with. Though it’s common fact of life for any human, dancers rarely talk openly about it and it’s trying each and every time it occurs. Today has become about sourcing materials to modify the raft, looking over footage of previous days and deciding how best to continue.
Despite what could be called a set back we have been discovering some wonderful potential, each day growing with confidence on the unstable surface and as a result creating some lovely partnering. We’re both keen to keep digging in to the work and most likely have too many ideas than not enough, so that’s a great place to be.