Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rehearsal addiction

What a lovely Saturday. I spent 8 hours of it in rehearsal but feel completely energised as it was all very civilised and spread out such that I actually had time for proper breakfast, lunch and dinner (which I even managed to cook, something I've really missed doing). The weather was not the kindest so it was probably better to spend it indoors anyway.

Musical rehearsal was great fun, we managed to run a very passable Act One and it is fantastic to see it coming together, as someone said there are moments when it really does make the hairs on the back of your neck stand (it is a very dramatic serious musical with a fantastic score, combining everything I love about music and theatre). Cannot wait to see it all on stage with a full band. The cast have been incredibly game about learning all this crazy 'contemporary' dance I'm throwing at them. It must be completely out of left field for them but I think many of them have really enjoyed finding out that dance does not have to be the stereotyped step-ball-change-jazz-hands. A story of this calibre deserves much more than 'moves' done simply to fill stage space or to impress, which is much the same way I feel about dance in general, so it all works out rather well. Here's the website for anyone who's interested.

Sandwiching that were two rehearsals for the dance company's show. It's in a month now, which I'm sure would send me into a bit of a panic if I weren't so caught up with the musical (which is in 1.5 weeks!), but nevertheless I think we will get there, even if by the skin of our teeth. I really love some of the pieces I'm dancing in and am trying to forge on with my own, which is this really rather scarily long piece vaguely based on my PhD (no less!). I definitely seem to have moved into the choreography side of things more and more as we are also fielding two short works which I've made over the past year or so -- so while I'm not on stage quite as much, what creative vision my brain can conjure up definitely is! It's just so much fun being in rehearsal day in and day out with a small group (there are only really about 7 core dancers) who know each other and get along really well. It's small enough to be very focussed and highly quality controlled, but at the same time we spend quite a lot of time in rehearsal laughing fit to bust. We definitely have a fixed programme now and it is just a matter of finishing off making the material (the show is after all called "New Works") and polishing it to a standard we're happy with. Phew!

Life is good, if on occasion a bit overwhelming. This weekend is a wonderful respite because I'm simply rehearsing, which I never fail to enjoy. The PhD analysis work is a little depressing at the moment and occasionally I wonder how on earth I'm going to plan a third field season at the same time as all this other stuff (I'm trying not to simply show up on Lizard without having decided what I'm going to do for my last two months of data collection, but I fear this may happen to some extent). Still, I've decided that the good thing about doing four different things at once (dance, musical, work, supervising) means at least the likelihood of them all going wrong at the same time is hopefully low so there will always be something to cheer me up!