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!

Amsterdam 1-2 July

Leaving for Amsterdam we all managed to meet at the station to board our train to Holland, except for our Greek guy Elais who overslept and had to catch the next train!! Poor Helen, just what she needed on the first day of tour!! There are so many of us – all the dancers plus our brilliant musicians including Nell who plays the Viola and brought her wee lad Otis - our little traveller.

I turned up with (1) an oversized suitcase for so few days and (2) a lovely cold. Typical… I had one day off resting after a week of rehearsals and a cold caught up with me. I felt like death. Any way, Amsterdam is a beautiful place to be going to.

The theatre is all ready for us to do a tech rehearsal except that the lighting cues aren’t set up due to some ancient equipment which can’t deal with the sophistication of Hofesh’s design. Uprising and In Your Rooms together have at least 130 cues so there is a lot of lighting preparation to do. Hofesh, though under pressure as we are on tomorrow premiering the show in Holland and opening the Julidans Festival, manages to be so calm and chilled about it all – maybe he is just a good actor but either way he has a very calming, relaxed energy about him which really helps in these situations.

While everyone else makes the most of the evenings, I take to my hotel room to steam and have a cup of tea and watch some Wimbledon. On tour we each share a room with one other person. In A’dam I shared with Ino. The poor girl had to try to sleep while I was coughing and moaning in the bed next to hers. Thankfully she seemed to sleep through it all. Back at the theatre things had progressed well. This was my first show and considering I had no air though my nasel cavities I think it was alright. I was purple after the shows but if I can handle that then next week in America will be a breeze!!? Well the audience loved us, so that’s what matters. The following night was brilliant - we were given flowers on stage and afterwards had free drinks and I finished off my Chinese walk in wok meal, yummy. Then we had a proper dinner with drinks on a boat floating past houses and barges, ducking under the bridges and having a jolly old time!