Savannah's Theatre Blog

Week 6: IP

Posted in IPP by Savannah on March 14, 2011

I feel that we started this week really well! We’d been struggling with finding energy and that ‘child-like’ quality for Rolling in the Deep so I wanted to start with that. After stalking Cat on her blog and reading about how she saw a strong relationship between what we learnt from the Zen Zen Zo workshop and Rolling in the Deep. The element from the ZZZ workshop that really stood out to me in relation to this scene was the changing energy levels. I saw the levels going throughout the piece and often changing rapidly.

At the start of the piece, I wanted to incorporate acrobatics (an element often included in physical theatre) and I wanted a more interesting entrance so I thought it would be good for Pandora to cart-wheel down the aisle to really emphasise the huge change in her movement. At the same time, Cat’s character (Violetta) does front walk over on the stage. When I reach the stage, there is a box at the bottom of the steps which I immediately notice and I am seemingly amazed/intrigued by it so I go to level 5 (the curious state). Whilst I’m at this curious state, Violetta has gone to a level two (the zombie state) but slightly more exaggerated so she is bent over. I like the juxtaposition between energy levels because that is often the case with children – going suddenly from hyped up and full of energy to asleep, dead to the world. Something else I wanted to take elements of from the workshop was this exercise:

Group awareness – up and down

This exercise involves 5 people standing in some sort of formation (a line, star, etc.) and two people must be crouched whilst the other three are standing. The difficulty, or the key, is not using sight. Each person looks straight ahead and relies on their other senses (+ their 6th sense) to determine whether to crouch or stand.

Cathy thought of a way to incorporate this and pass boxes in a way that was much more interesting which involves us sliding down to the floor in a back-to-back position and then I lean down in front of me to pick up a box and pass it over my head to Cat.

We had a lot of difficulty in making this piece sufficiently long which is normally not something I really care about because I’m really all for quality not quantity. However, I was feeling that this piece was lacking in both. So, we had fun brainstorming different child hood games/activities and extending on what we had already come up with. We were also worried that we would forget all that we’d done, so at the end of the lesson we wrote it all down and here it is:

Sav begins outside D4

Cathy enters upstage right

Pandora cartwheels (starting when the words start) down the aisle in the centre of the audience, ending in a round off half turn. She then finds Box 1 and goes to a Level 5 curious about the box and then throws it to Violetta and is curious about her response.

Meanwhile, Violetta does a front walk over (starting at the same time as Sav) and almost immediately goes into a L2 (zombie state) and then to a quick level 7 before I pass her the box and she goes into L5

Violetta puts the box down before Pandora runs around it and they slide down in a V position, back to back.

Pandora then picks up the box Cathy just put down and brings it over her head to pass it to Violetta.

Violetta then places it on the floor in front of her and Pandora mimics her movements.

Both Violetta and Pandora swivel around on their hand on releve. They both spin around into 2nd position.

Geoffrey (from the wings, stage right) throws Box #2 to Violetta who then throws it to Pandora. They have a hot potato match until Violetta gets bored and throws it behind her to the pyramid they are building.

Violetta and Pandora then help each other up and Pandora moves over to the boxes and Violetta prepares herself to recieve Box #3, both moving like robots.

Pandora passes the box to Violetta and they both lift their legs behind them with a flexed foot

Pandora moves back to the boxes and throws Violetta another box

Violetta places that box on the pyramid

Pandora calls Violetta over to the boxes and places a box on her head

Pandora then puts a box on her foot and holds Violetta’s hand and they both make their way over to the pyramid. They both place their boxes on the pyramid and Pandora has the idea of hiding behind the boxes and making a game out of moving them. Violetta soon catches on.

Violetta runs down the aisle to play cops and robbers but Pandora has another idea and runs down and pulls Violetta back on stage.

Pandora drags Violetta  to the hats downstage right. They both look at each other, then forward and then then bend over to pick up the hats and stand up at the same time.

Violetta goes to put on the hat. At the same time Pandora looks at her. Violetta stops putting on the hat and the process is reversed.

They both then turn to look at each other, put their hats on and curtsie.

With their new characters (because of the hats) they both run through the audience playing cops and robbers. At some point, they signal to each other that it’s time for a shoot out. They slowly walk backwards towards each other, turn around when they meet and shoot each other.

Both sit up, lean forward and then bring their legs over behind them and swivel around.

Violetta then takes a crouching position whilst Pandora  runs around and they play a game of leap-frog (3 leaps) before they turn to face each other on their knees and play a clapping game.

They then both run back on to the stage and begin stacking the boxes rapidly.

They then get distracted and run to jump off the stage. They then both pretend to be adults and play tea parties, walk like adults, etc.

They then share secret looks and point to the audience and giggle about them

They finally take different poses in reserved seats. Violetta goes to a seat near the front on the left side whilst Pandora goes to the middle on the right. They take a piece an accessory from an audience member (pre-arranged) and take a final, “adult” pose.

I think it works really well and it’s so much fun that both Cathy and I are just smiling and laughing the entire way through!

Another scene that we worked on (and finalised!) this week was Intervention which is completely changed and is now Trust. It was predominantly inspired by some physical theatre videos on you tube that I watched which I will try to link now:

Link 1

Link 2 – This is just something beautiful and amazing !

Link 3

Link 4

Link 5 

Link 6 – Alvin Ailey!

There was still something nagging at me – that we hadn’t:

a) Been really getting to the bottom of what physical theatre is, and

b) Hadn’t explored the relationships

Trust is such a significant part of Pandora’s journey and I couldn’t believe that this realisation had not occurred to me before. So with this scene, I wanted to incorporate a lot of balance exercises but, as with life, there is always more than one layer and I wanted to incorporate more of Violetta’s journey. There are so many difficulties with helping a loved one with an addiction, the main question being: how much can you help whilst remaining standing yourself? In conjunction with this,  we really see Violetta’s strength come through. So, there is a lot of emphasis on Violetta moving by herself whilst Pandora moves only with the help of Augustus (the drug), as well as Violetta trying to remain upright and her struggle, and of course – Pandora questioning who to trust whilst Augustus manipulates her and Cathy remains truthful. Something that also comes into question for Violetta is her trying to determine what is actually happening. There are two specific moments where she trying to get to me but Augustus is blocking her way and she can’t figure out what is happening. These moments are among my favourites in the piece!

On Friday, Cathy couldn’t come to school so I arranged for Geoffrey and I to work on Turning Tables. Whilst I wasn’t as happy with this session as I was with the others, we still got some good work done. We hadn’t gone over it for a while so I think that may have been part of the reason why it was not working. Still, as I said, we got some good work done! We went through the chore to start with and figured out the problems and why a few things weren’t quite working timing wise. We then we went through the beats in the scene and figured out the best Laban efforts to use for each. So here’s what we decided on:

Turning Tables:

1. Until facing audience

– glide, float (on both parts)

2. Until wrap – leg up

SAV: wring, press, glide, float

GEOFF: press, slash

3. Drop down – run in front

GEOFF: flick, press, glide

SAV: flick, dab, float, glide

4. The Sway

SAV: glide, float

GEOFF: press – recurring when I’m not looking/can’t see him

5. Jump

SAV: flick, glide (dab?)

6. Walk back

SAV: Glide

GEOFF: press

7. Puppetry

SAV: gloat, flick

GEOFF: press, flick

8. Swan

SAV: glide, float, press

GEOFF: press, punch

I think we worked really, really well this week. Not only did we get really far along with chore but we were able to figure out objectives and emotions; what goes on behind the eyes – essentially the most important part!

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