I am in the midst of putting the final touches to my Resolution! piece entitled How Odd The Girl's Life Looks, which will be performed this Wednesday 19th January. I am so excited and really happy with the piece and how it looks.... is what I wish I was able to say at this point!
Unfortunately instead of this joyous time I should be having, I am actually teaching one of the parts to someone else, which is totally due to unforeseen circumstances. However no matter how much I understand this, it is still very frustrating!
I had my first run through of the piece on Saturday night and now I have 4 hours today and a 3 hour tech on Wednesday to try and clean it, refine it, change bits, add bits and generally make it work........ oh dear. I have amazing performers and thank God for that but I do feel a little under pressure. I know this is not the first time that this has ever happened to choreographer in the history of the dance world but it really isn't fun.
I think my main problem is that I don't want to be watching my piece for the first time on Wednesday night when it is being performed. I want to be able to know what it looks like by now so I can be making good decisions about how to move it forward and develop it.
When the time came that I had to get a new dancer in, I had to choose whether I was going to jump in myself or not. It was a very hard decision to make, as I know most of the material, what the piece is about but the piece wasn't there yet and I couldn't jump into anything of mine if I didn't know how it looked especially when I would also have to still direct it ad finish it!
However once I decided I would get someone else in, deciding who to put in was even harder. I had to trust them explicitly to be able to come in and handle the piece how I want it to be handled.
But also I had to let go of what the piece was becoming and accept what the piece will now become and that I probably won't know what it is until the day before. (As you can tell that last acceptance wasn't very easy to take on board!!)
So Sarah, what is your piece about?
Well Sarah, my piece is a duet "Set in the domestic environment from which she drew her inspiration. This haunting piece of physical theatre, explores the rythmic irregularities of Emily Dickinson's poem 'I heard a Fly Buzz When I Died'. In this poem, Dickinson prepares and imagines her life after she passes.
Developing our own language through movement and text we offer a eulogy: This is where the piece begins". Or so my programme notes say HA!
I have had an amazing bunch of artists collaborating with me:
Dan Brackenbury who created all the projections (and has now taken over from me on the sound) is an absolute genius. I was in one of his MA films in 2009 and I was so happy he was able to collaborate with me to create the backdrop out of which the piece exists. His website address is www.danbrackenbury.com
My sister Jill Blanc McDermott created the costumes and they look stunning. They were made out of old lace tablecloths. Genius! I had asked for them to be made out of old net curtains and thankfully she couldn't find any!
Natalie Lindiwe Jones is designing the lights. This was kind of a last minute decision due to me already having too much to worry about with losing a dancer, but a great decision at that. I was so lucky she was free and willing to do it. Natalie is amazing.
She did my last Resolution! piece along with working for some rather large companies. I am so lucky to have her on board. You can check her CV out here on her stagejobspro profile. http://www.uk.stagejobspro.com/view.php?uid=109582
And last but certainly NOT least my dancers Katie Lusby and Janina Smith. Both stunning performers and really open to just giving anything a go. That is all I ever ask of my cast.
Katie trained with me at The Place and then went on to do an apprenticeship with the big cheese himself Richard Alston before dancing in Ben Hur Live across Europe, Dam van Hyungh, James Wilton, Fin Walker (for the ROH opera Aida) and most recently Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.
She is uber talented, Janina Smith graduated last July from The Place and has been busy in her few months out of college.
She most recently was performing in a piece by Deutschbank bursary winner Mina Aidoo for the Coallition collaborations and creates installation work with colleague Sam Shaw for band Noxshi. She has a beautiful presence and I feel lucky to be working with her now. Watch her space!
So here I go! Lets hope this Resolution! works.