Saturday, 4 February 2012

People Weep, Branded Now - Back to 'Wood Shedding'

On the 20th of January a really important milestone was reached !!! It has took till now to process the whole experience properly. With the huge push towards the sharing of the work in progress, at a prestigious theatre studio space, in front of a 50+ specially invited audience. The audience included the pros, Dramaturge, Director, Producer, Literary other Theatre /Performing Arts practitioners etc. Alongside Board members of the project , arts partners for the the project and Cultural Olympiad. Importantly also Community Ensemble cast (filmed), friends and colleagues. A great audience overall !! Some people wept in reponse to the performance (I spoke with them after), words used by those who saw it were; 'powerful' , 'raw ' ' great use of the Leicester idiom' 'I get the diva Solitiaire' etc. All this very gratifying and much appreciated by me . I still wait to review the full video footage of the lively Q & A at the end of the sharing, to analyze further . But I received direct feedback too, after the performance, one to one from audience members, as well some text and internet messages.

We presented the script in hand sharing/work in progress, all the elements and components of the piece, in the 30mins allotted, stage complete with three screens (large back screen , 2 smaller ones stage left and right ) for digital visuals. Starting with a dynamic moving digital visuals montage, featuring edits of all the digital visuals . Featuring all the characters of the piece with some potent House music I composed by way of soundscape. After this an exposition of the choreography of the main character Solitaire with a rhythmic soundscape. Swiftly after this , into 10 mins of dramatic monologue , with moving digital visuals woven in. Afterwards there followed a sequence of the 'Shadow Woman character's choreography on video. Finally, the main character Solitaire choreography onstage , combined with digital interactivity (MXP) projected on the large back screen. The Q& A followed straight after . (see above).

I am pleased three key objectives were achieved: to show what a choreopoem is and receive a favorable response, recruit ambassadors for new audience development (to get people to book their tickets soon), show and get positive feedback from all our arts partners. Additionally, the the theatre confirmed our performance dates 21/22nd 2012 June Curve Theatre. Fortunately, we have now we received formal approval to use the Cultural Olympiad Brand logo (no simple process this achieved with good partnership) for all our marketing . With our new Student Intern on now board for marketing purposes - GREAT STUFF !

Yesterday the Creative Team and myself viewed footage of the performance a positive and constructive excercise. There are some fairly great dramatic photographs also. In the light of all the feedback we had at that point, we made notes and discussed the piece , what areas could be further strengthened and what were the positives e.g the technology working well etc , audience response etc A key factor, is to now draw up a more intense writing performance rehearsal program for me . To divest myself of other roles, producer, director. etc. To defer the need for the technical rehearsals at a later date i.e. operator . So for me it is time for 'wood shedding' - a term I learnt form from Black jazz musicians meaning to detach and persistently rehearse fundamentals, to build to full mastery for performance. All of the above people agreed that all things taken into consideration, all bodes very well indeed for the final performance

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