Savannah's Theatre Blog

WEEK 7!

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on March 21, 2011

Wednesday 16th March: Theatre blog

Today was International Day and, for the first time in my memory, we did theatre related things! I was really concerned about missing two double periods (Monday was Labour Day) so I talked to Ms Robinson (who was organising the happenings of International Day) and suggested having an open rehearsal at the start of the day. She was really happy about the idea which made me really happy because, as I said, I was worried about missing so much class/rehearsal time. As well as this, we had the Butoh Showcase at 10:40 (2 of the scenes from Child’s Play – The Back Dance and Nose-Pencil focus).

When we first got to school we were setting up, warming up and going over our Butoh scenes. With the Butoh scenes, we started with the entrance for the back dance with the masks. I had a little trouble remembering what we did and was really embarrassed when  I mucked it up after going through it a few times. Another issue we had with this was the time to turn – everyone else was supposed to be following me as I was front and centre but it seemed very rushed like everyone just wanted to get each turn out of the way. There was no focus on the individual move, only on the destination. Never-the-less, we got there eventually and actually got focussed. The only other problem I found with the back dance was when we were numbering off to figure out our exits (we peel of one-by-one) and Daniel kept forgetting his number! It was very frustrating because I demand total concentration from myself and expect that others do the same. I mean, I get making mistakes or having an off day but when it’s the same mistake over and over, it really frustrates me. This is something that I’ve been finding difficult during school production (Alice in Wonderland) – I’m so used to the concentration and focus (generally) in our class that coming into production this year, I felt it would be just the same despite difficulties last year. It frustrates me when people have not even read through their scenes! It’s ridiculous! But, something I have to learn to deal with.

It was so exciting to do the nose-pencil focus again! When we originally did it (before the first performance last year) I didn’t think it was particularly interesting but I really do love doing it. It’s so simple but it’s fantastic because its simplicity gives us leeway to explore levels, weights and speed without worrying about chore or anything else. There was only one frustration I had which was similar to the one before. After discussing that we would go down the stairs into the audience and go out the doors at audience level, Daniel forgot to go down the stairs and came back into the wings which would have been fine if he had just rectified his mistake and got on with it but! He just looked at me and I motioned for him to go back out (in character of course) and exit correctly. This I thought would be suitable and would make sense because we had so many exits and entrances  but… it took a long time for him to get what I was saying!

Before our Butoh performance we had a short open rehearsal. We’d just started Trust last week and it still needed a  lot of work so I thought this was most important to practice. Also, I think that with all the balances that we do, this scene is the most impressive! I started the group off by going through the more difficult parts of the scene such as what we call the aeroplane in which Geoff lies down on the ground and has his legs up at 90 degrees. I balance on his feet which go on my hips and his hands. I then take my hands off Geoff’s and transfer them to Cat’s. Now that I think about it, I think it will actually be better if Cat takes my hands from Geoffrey. I know that I have said in previous posts that there is no interaction between Violetta and Augustus – this is still true. They interact in a physical sense but their focus is always on Pandora. In the minds of both Violetta and Augustus, the other is an obstacle to overcome and can’t be ignored. Whilst Violetta cannot see the drug, she is very aware of the drugs presence. Augustus can see Violetta but his focus is always on Pandora because she is the one he is targeting. We also went through this movement:

 

 This is one of my favourite moments in the piece because the connections are so clear and true. Violetta is trying to Pandora but cannot physically see the addiction/Augustus. Augustus is very aware of Violetta’s presence and attempts to help Pandora and is vindictive in the fact that Pandora is relying so heavily upon him at this moment. We had a bit of trouble with this movement later in the week when I literally couldn’t get up and Cathy was not able to get her arms around Geoff to me. So, we looked at this picture which was taken the week before and tried to figure out what was going wrong. What we thought at the time was that Geoff was trying to remain completely straight and was not leaning back as he does in this picture. I think this was still a problem but only now, looking at a bigger picture can I see the problems in the way I was holding Geoff’s arms. When we were rehearsing on Friday, I used his hands for support which made it difficult for me to lock my elbows in to the crook of his (we thought this was how we got the movement – it was how it looked in the small picture) but I now realise that I need to hold his wrists and my elbows go on the outside of his elbows. If I do this is allows Geoff to get that lever-like motion and lift me with a lot more ease.

The song we have decided on for this scene is Betray by Son Lux. We discovered Son Lux through a physical theatre video we watched that had just beautiful music! We all loved this song which was called Beautiful or something similar and thought we could actually use it for our own piece! So, when I got home after watching that video, I tried to find that song but was unable to. I did find songs by the same artist and Betray had a great, strong beat combined with a smooth, soft sound and great lyrics. I played that and another song (Stay, also by Son Lux) which I thought had more appropriate lyrics but lacked that strong beat which I loved so much. Both Cat and Geoff agreed that Betray was a more suitable choice. I’d already decided on a lot of the chore but I hadn’t really placed it in much of a sequence so we played around with a lot of different ideas and got something together and we then just had to figure out details and fill in the holes.

The scene begins with Cathy at the end of the aisle lying on her back with her knees bent and Geoff and I, just in front of the black curtain. When we were first putting this together we forgot that we had the back curtain closed and rehearsed against the wall, using it as resistance. I was a bit annoyed when we first realised our mistake but I actually think it’s a nicer affect because our slight touches on the curtain are quite calming which is a nice juxtaposition with the feeling of the piece.

I’m so happy with how the piece is going! We are working really well together and it certainly involves a lot of trust!

Some other pictures:

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