This year sees the 40th anniversary of The Place and what a celebration that is! Its times like this that make me feel so proud to be part of The Place. It may be a very small part but its a part! I love working here and being around amazing people every day.
Thursday saw the gala. It was such a success. All the different departments of The Place showcased some work (apart from the Classes and Courses department). I was working with the Young Place and we presented our First Moves 2 class (ages 6-7). They did their 'cops and robbers' dance, choreographed by Helen Clarke. So cute. They definitely stole the show. So proud. The gala showed the huge range of creativity that The Place has produced and still produces. How The Place really can empower every kind of person. It really did say 'look at what dance can do'.
The evening had such a celebratory atmosphere. The audience was made up of past and present staff, students and other VIPs connected to The Place. Everyone seemed so happy to be there and it could have turned into a huge big networking extravaganza but instead everyone seemed to be relaxed.
The following two days were full up of free workshops, classes and seminars along with a group of 20 pre-selected people taking part in the dancer for a day project with Luca Silvestrini. I didn't get to see the end product, but how cool is that getting to work with him AND getting to perform in the Robin Howard. Double bonus. What I love the most is that half the people who took part in the day long project, probably didn't know exactly who Luca is or what he has done. I liked that though. It shouldn't be important. Its about enjoying yourself and being part of something fun and interesting. From seeing Mr. Silvestrini around this summer it seems that he is probably one of the most down to earth choreographers out there. I saw one of his Touchwood sharings and he was so .... normal! (as opposed to being arrogant). Again, I like this.
My job on the Saturday was to assist two classes and teach another one. Gpd times. Everyone was welcomed at the front door by all the senior directors of The Place (not at the same time haha although that would have been fun!). They all took their turns meeting and greeting and running around. They worked so hard that weekend as did all the staff, but it was great seeing everyone doing their part. I know its only expected but it just showed the passion that the people, behind The Place, have for it as an institution and as a torch carrier for contemporary dance.
I also attended the open choreography session with Richard Alston, led by Kenneth Tharp. We got an insight into how he creates and we even got to make suggestions.... and yeah he liked my idea..... thats right you heard me! haha I am joking but I did get a small buzz out of it (if I was to be honest)!! It was interesting to also see how his dancers work and how, as a non-dancing choreographer he really gets them to move A LOT, and to accomplish really technically tricky movements.
I was truly inspired by this weekend and I am looking forward to the future and hopefully still being involved in such a great place for many years to come.