Monday, 8 December 2008

Swindon, Oxford, Stirling and Newcastle

Swindon was a quick visit consisting of; Train, Warm-up, Performance and to bed in Oxford. We had a Technical hiccup  up in 'In Your Rooms', which caught us off guard. There are numerous Black outs where we have to either get on or off stage.With rehearsals we become very familiar with the time period to do so, but when the lights decide to do their own show and come on earlier than expected, all you see is a handful of dancers holding hands and sneaking off into the wings, not very effective.The lights and music continued to be out of sync, so the show started again and from then on ran smoothly. 
That night some dancers had to travel to Oxford to teach Workshops the next day. Its always a challenge to teach the following day after a show, The body is usually complaining and the mind is wanting more sleep. But somehow enthusiasm is conjured up and the workshop is productive and enjoyable. 

Oxford was another quick day; Train, Warm-up, Show, bed. My parents came to see us  which was nice. They had both seen the piece previously when the Company performed the work at 'The Place'. My mum's thoughts of In Your Rooms concluded with 'Sometimes all you need is a hug ' They both loved the work, and will watch the show many more times I'm sure.

Tour was starting to heat up, We were jumping from theatre to theatre, Hotel room to another and everything started to become a bit of a blur! 

After Oxford we went to Scotland, Stirling were we ate good Fish and Chips, enjoyed a drink in a local pub were old men sat and played cards, and enjoyed an early morning call with the sound of a fire alarm, ringing for long enough to put some clothes on and just step outside the bedroom door!  One morning i had  breakfast  with Norman our brilliant German musician, we collected a plate full of food from the buffet breakfast bar and sat down to eat, i was in a slight shock as i see Norman tucking into a spoon full of baked beens, Porridge and a bit of fried egg, simultaneously asking me what this porridge thing is. He was loving it.

Newcastle was next with 2 shows at the Northern Stage. Its great when we get two gigs in one place, mainly because we become more familiar with the space we're performing in, this space we particularly nice. The wings side of stage were spacious so entrances and exits can be smoothly executed. This really helps us as side of stage is always as dark as possible, this is to ensure that no light off stage spills on stage. We have strips of glow tape to lead us to safety and the bigger the wings the more confidently we can leg it off.  

Elais was the chosen one to teach the company a warm-up. He led us all through a yoga class. Although some of the positions in yoga can be  an uncomfortable struggle, i was extremely warm and focused, well prepared for the day.  Working with Hofesh's movement there is a desire to be supple and soft whilst maintaining accuracy and power. And to have an awareness of the entire body as you move through the space. So to do Yoga now and again is a brilliant idea. 

Its great being in a company with dancers from all parts of the world hearing what their country is like, listening to the things they find funny about our country, and communicating with english and their own foreign accents. When one asks the other to see their teeth, you might hear Tits which then creates real confusion to everyone in part! I now listen much more carefully to Yen-Ching and Ino. 

I had a friend watching the performance the second night and she loved it, and will be watching again in Barcelona. Had a fun night out with her which was slightly regrettable when I had to wake up and teach a three hour workshop, But no fear a well earned two day break was on its way.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Budapest, Hungary 17 August

After having performed the third show of the three we did in Hamburg we had to wake up the next morning at stupid o'clock to catch a flight to Hungary. We had to fly into Munich jump on another plane to head to our final destination of Budapest. I was half asleep and luckily had all my belongings with me.......unlike Christopher! There was an amazing moment at the airport where Hofesh sneekly took Chris's passport from the floor where he had safely! placed it and awaits for chris's reaction...chris is then beginning to panic as he rummages through his bag and says 'guys i think ive lost my phone'. thankfully i am not the only forgetful one.

We performed that night at this amazing festival 'Sziget Festival' it runs for a week in August. Not only was Shechter and his troops rocking out with Degeneration, there was 'The killers', 'Jose gonzalez', 'Jamiroquai', 'sex pistols', 'REM' and many many more. Definitely fancy coming back to this fesival. A few of us decided to take to the venues and make the most of the day.

We couldn't rehearse and mark the stage out until it was dark as the venue was outside. That did mean although it was in August it was pretty chilly at night in our red dresses, But its not that stale air thats stuck in the theatres, it's fresh, moving alive air!! These venues are the best, i'm hoping we do more festivals. The audience seemed to think so too, although i'm sure the majority were stoned and off their faces they did love it. The speakers were incredible and like in Kalamata it felt like the whole area could hear the bass banging out.

We had one of our apprentices, James, with us to perform Uprising, he did an amazing job. Wins, Yen-ching and I went to watch the boys from the hill and realised how well this piece works in these environments, its a bit dirty and underground.

After the show Colette sorted us out with a nice cold beer and we ventured out to see if Jose was still on, but no luck! so we went to a chill out tent to fall asleep for a bit!

Hamburg, Germany 13 August

Holidays are now over and tour re-starts with a trip to Hamburg and a flying visit to Budapest. I arrive an hour early at Terminal 5 ready and waiting with a nice hot latte to wake me up. Slowly people start arriving and with 20mins to get through security i'm talking with Ino about how much we've packed and suddendly my heart jumps outside my throat as i realise i have left my costumes in my wardrobe at home.....F**k. Ive been sitting there all that time chilling out and with less than an hour till the flight leaves i am calling my mum to see if she can leave work to pick up my costumes drive down to Heathrow and pass them to a BA lady who will get it to my gate before the plane leaves.....?? Well Super Mum did it!! with a little speeding and illegal parking she gets the costumes to me!!! im sure i had just lost 10 years of my life. WOW why do i do this to myself! 

We arrive in Hamburg and set out to the streets for some German Grub. The day was lovely the sun was out and there was a slight crisp to the air. We then raided some shops in search of a present for Wins's Birthday and eventually after some deliberating we found some amazing shorts and at midnight we went to sing Happy Birthday to her.

The venue was a huge huge warehouse so the stage was massive and there was a load of other things going on in different rooms. We had an amazing D.J on one night then a band another, its always nice to watch someonelse doing their thing to entertain you after having been performing. One night after the show we went to hear this D.J playing and had a wicked time dancing about like we hadn't been let out for a while, we then picked the best cabby in Hamburg to head home in and he was ready for a night out. We went rolling round Hamburg with 5o cent blarring out his speakers, windows down bouncing to the beats of 50 pence. I think he was a bit shocked at our enthusiasm in preceding to party all the way home

The shows were good as far as i can recall, i did have a bit of hassle with my knee, it felt like the joint was joining in the wrong place but with some mental diverting i forgot it was there and performed like a sexymonsterbeast from the gutters of hells kilamanjab. It was rockin!!

It was Ming's last shows with us in Hamburg, as he had been on his holis from Bern Ballet and was standing in for Phil who got injured 2 weeks before tour. Thankfully Ming is some sort of machine, he can absorb a mass of information at the speed of light so learning 2 pieces in a few days was a walk in a park, and i am sure 'he'll be back'.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Civitanova, Italy 22 July

The journey was great, we had a thunder storm along side us for part of the journey, which later caught up with us. It is really lovely travelling through the country of all these places. Italy is beautiful, while Greece seemed very dry and barren, Italy was so green and fresh, with amazing majestic mountains and wide flowing rivers it made me want to somehow hug it all.

On arriving in Civitanova we go out in search of food, once again we know our priorities. On our travels we see the storm once beside us is now creeping on over us, well equipped for a wet evening we find shelter on top of a slides hut type thing!! a nice man came to our rescue with a big umbrella to lure us into his restaurant for drinks. Was pretty thrilling to be out in the storm though, felt the desire to be electrocuted, would be amazing to survive it.

Eventually after flying paper airplanes and some drinks we find some yummy food next to the hotel. And as tiredness creeps in and the food is being digested my social skills start to fade and i need my bed.

The show went well the audience continued to clap for a near 20mins after 'Uprising' had finished. They wanted more i guess. But 'Uprising' is a special piece. I vaugely remember the 1st time i saw it at the place, and i was so energized and full after it i didn’t want to watch 'In your rooms' in case it spoilt the feeling i had, but curiosity kept me seated and thankfully i enjoyed it just as much.

It was Elais's Birthday on the show day, so off to the shops we went to find him a present. Whilst getting him a jumper that looked amazing on him Ino and I managed a few purchases for ourselves.

Next stop Hamburg

Bolzano, Italy 20 July

De-generationOur day of travelling.

From Kalamatata we take our joyful route back over the winding roads to reach Athens were we take a plane to Milan to hop back on a coach to arrive in Bolzano. The day was long but for Helen and Hofesh it had only began once we arrived in Bolzano. They went off to plot the lights and make the magic happen for the show the following night. While the rest of us went in search of some Italian food.

Due to threatening weather conditions the performance didn’t take place on the grounds of a castle, but was moved to a more conventional setting.....the theatre. Just as Hofesh tucks into his lunch he is pulled into the theatre to re-plot everything!

The show was all ready for us at the castle but now there was just enough time to get it ready for us in the theatre. And it was pretty tight!

The day was running smoothly until the Italian workers went off to have a break, they all disappeared while Hofesh continued plotting and setting queues. It got to the point where if no one came back to help him the show wouldn’t be ready and would have to be cancelled. But after Hofesh and Helen had a good go at the lethargic agency, people then started to appear from nowhere. Whilst all this is happening I was sewing my bra into my dress too tightly and meticulously going through cult.

Once all the lights were done it was 30 mins before we were on, we got into our costumes, put on our faces, went to the toilet, ate some nuts and had a quick shimmy about. Somehow due to all the stress during the day it all felt pretty chilled out for the show. It took a lot of pressure off my 1st cult. The girls trio at the beginning really felt amazing, like a storm brewing, feels like we hold a lot of power between us like some invisible electrical force! Love it.

But then later I must've got a bit excited as Ii messed up, confidently I hope! Then before you know it, it is time to bow.

Chris had the triple bill, 'cult' followed by 'fragments', always look on the bright side of life do do do do dododododo! to finish with 'uprising', but he seems unaffected and is ready for a couple of beers after.

After dinner, wine and a well earned apple pie, we all head back to the hotel. As we're walking back we stumbled on two of those springing kids seats!!! time for some playtime.

Kalamata, Greece 18 July

Back to Ino and Elais's home country.We arrive at Athens Airport and hop onto our coach which takes us on a helter-skelter ride through some barren but beautiful parts of Greece. As the sun begins to set and disappear behind the hills we begin to wonder how long this journey is going to take. Yen-ching sleeping like a log on the back seats for the duration of the journey isn't too fussed though!! Then 6-7 hours later we arrive at Kalamata.

First thing is first....FOOD! We walk roughly 10 metres down the road, and sit ourselves at a big table at the nearest restaurant. The bread, olive oil and balsamic vineger couldn't have tasted better. After dinner we headed to the sea. Clear sky, stars and a bright moon glistening on the sea we couldn't resist baring our clothes (keeping under garments on!) and jumping in. It was just what we all needed after a day of travel to refresh.

So the next day.
I was coping well in the hotel room with the air conditioner on lazing in bed, but rehearsing in a studio moving about working hard, I was having my own personal shower! We had a few hours' rehearsal for De-generation before making our way up on a hill where the ampitheatre was sitting. It was beautiful - the stage had a backdrop of sea and mountains, and the whole of Kalamata was visible from our outside green room.

The speakers sounded amazing - felt like the whole of Kalamata could hear us. The only potentional problem with the theatre was these four massive pillars standing prominently on the four corners of the stage, with lovely long padded legs poking out of them. Poor Ino caught one of them and did a most amazing trip on it. I saw her fly up as the lights were dimming and heard a crash at the bottom, pretty impressive and no bruises!

The show was quite thrilling. With all the entrances and exits and some dodgey wings it was an acheivment to get off and back on again - made the show feel quite electric. We all have responsibility for our own costumes, so taking them home with us to wash and remembering to bring them back on tour with us. I had some wollen trousers and a top to look after and after putting all my washing in a 40 degree wash I pulled out some nice 3/4 length trousers suitable for a midget. Thankfully Helen told me there was a brown dress which I could wear instead!

The show went well, we had some 'important' people watching - my friend Eva and her family, Ino and Elais's family and friends, and the Minister of Culture and some politicians. Before the show there was a big protest about the politicians and ministers being there so when Leon stands at the front holding a board saying 'Don't follow leaders'.......'follow me', the audience loved this and were all (but the few sat in the front row) clapping enthusiastically at him. It was quite a special moment.

Boston - Lee 9-13 July

My first long haul flight. My first time out of Europe. How will it be??I bought some sleeping pills for the flight as sometimes I feel panicked in the plane, not sure why but my mind tries to scare me! Virgin Atlantic looked after us though. I managed a short nap.

Staying in a motel, the Pilgrim Inn, was great – just like the movies expecting to see a car drive up and drop off some drugs to a guy waiting in a room. But not in Lee. Lee was more like Rosie’s country kitchen, Freddy’s Diner and Sweet Chirpy Americans.

6 shows in 5 days. Jacobs Pillow – what a place – never seen anything like it, a beautiful setting in the middle of nowhere. Some of the company saw a wild baby bear. I couldn’t believe it at first – lucky buggers.

Bruno and Anne’s kid took his first steps on his own in Jacobs Pillow. It was incredible to see this little lad walking on his own, stumbling about. It is lovely to have the kids on tour, playing silly baby games with them. I wish they could come to every venue.

The best show was one of the last. We were all so tired - our bodies couldn’t resist anything – so everything was softer and had an ease about it. Something that Hofesh always has naturally. He is like a long lanky monkey incredible mover.

In between times I had rehearsals for another show – Degeneration – a triple bill of Cult, Fragments and Uprising. Cult is a sextet with 3 girls and 3 guys. Yen Ching had taught me the piece in 2 days so I had a vague idea of the movement but by the time we came to the first of these rehearsals I had forgotten a lot of what I’d learnt – Bruno wasn’t impressed!!! OOOps. By the time the Hof came to have a look at the second rehearsal I’d sorted it out and with Bruno’s foot up my arse I had been kicked into gear and thankfully Hofesh was happy…PHEW!