Yesterday we opened our watery world for the first time and shared our ideas, imaginings and creations with the wonderful Chloe Loftus. We began by discussing how the r & d is going, the things we’ve learnt, what we’ve discovered and the direction we feel the work is heading in. Chloe threw some new and intriguing suggestions into the pot and asked some great questions – some of which we have discovered the answers to, others of which are still questions floating in the studio ether.
It was then time for initiation – so far not a single person has entered the studio without immediately wanting to get on board and try out the rafts movement. Tentative at first, then with confidence growing, standing up tall, she begins to play with her weight and try to balance the platform, before her first big shift, a squeal and a rapid exit.
The raft is both beguilingly simple and terribly unpredictable. The great thing for us was to once more experience a person arriving on the raft for the first time. A caution, tension and apprehension we definitely experienced at first too but after almost 50 hours on the raft ourselves a whole myriad of states and emotions have complicated our relationship with it. We have passed through joy, frustration, challenge, ease, confidence, fear, passion, freedom and then right back to that tentative play. Both characters will have to discover this strange new world of theirs anew, so it was wonderful to see another real experience of this and also the delight it brought to Chloe and ourselves.
We then did a short class together and moved on to showing Chloe the work: the sets possibilities and the sequences/scenes we have already begun to form. She was amazed by how far we’d managed to venture into the choreographic and acrobatic already and it was great to hear from her how precarious the raft makes everything seem and how emotive that instability really is. She also expressed how even the simplest of motions and images, sitting side by side as the raft gently sways for example, are intriguing and really draw the onlooker into our tiny rolling world.
The slippery surface of the raft is very much part of it’s personality and the chaos that ensues is tangible. When it flips, the character suddenly accelerates towards the ground, only to catch or spin, and narrowly avoid a watery exit, this is a brilliant surprise and a childlike like joy. It had us giggling time and time again and Chloe felt that the chaos, speed and wide eyed surprise it brings should be an essential part of the show.
It was great for us to have her in the studio to really facilitate play once more, she has helped us revisit the joy of simplicity, discovery and catastrophe.
Thank you very much Chloe.
Photo credit: Matteo Marfoglia