...I'll try anything once'
- Samantha Jones
I went to see 'Sweet Bird Of Youth' yesterday at the Old Vic with my best friend. The original reason for me attending that particular play was that I am a 'Sex and The City' addict. I'm not it's biggest fan (I'm not totally crazy) but my best friend and I could probably quote something from every episode ever made. So you can imagine our delight when we saw that Kim Cattrall would be gracing the London Stage as Alexandra Del Lago in Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth'.
I haven't seen a play in a long time and I keep telling myself that I should go and see more, they are well worth the watch. As we sit on the comfy seats and listen to the announcement reminding me to turn my phone to silent I start to feel a tingle in my stomach and I realise that I am nervous. She played a character that I have loved for years (not may favourite.. we all have our favourite) but I admire this characters strength, honesty and boldness. So when I sit and realise that I am about to watch her play another person I'm scared that it will tarnish my opinion of the character that she played for 10 years.
The lights come up to her and a man in bed...
...she's wearing black neglige
You don't see her for a short while. She lays in the bed whilst other characters are speaking, but the moment she opens her mouth my back is against the wall. The power in her voice, the diction and the use of intonation is amazing...
..and she looks incredible.
Throughout the play she delivers such an amazing performance. Her character is a complete contrast (although there are some similar qualities) to Samantha Jones and by the end I'm blown away. Not just by her but by most of the actors on the stage. They really did a great job and even though I did go to see Kim I was very pleasantly surprised by the whole play.
I got to thinking though. Actors do get type-casted a lot, and some of them can find it difficult to break that casting but some actors.. some of them can play any character just as strong as another and it reminded me to be versatile and not get stuck in the way that I do things. Its the same for all of us dancers. We all have a strength and we all have a way of moving that we are good at so if you find a job that you love then stay... after all why would you leave? If you found something you love then you would be stupid to let it go?
As dancers are we as versatile as we like to believe? In school we might learn a bit of Cunningham and Ballet, Release and Floor Work but then because we are stubborn we go back to moving the way that we want to and the way that is most familiar, we look for work that suits us and makes us happy. It's the same with choreographers they have found their movement vocabulary and they continuously create work with a certain style. Is it because we are stubborn and we want to be different from everybody else? Why is it we are never exercise our skill or technique to fit another role? Is it laziness?
It's's not just dance though, the way we do things in life is a reflection of other thing we do in life, they say who we are in bed is who we are in life, so inevitably the way we dance is a reflection of who we are. Why would you want to change that? (unless you're really bad in bed).
Maybe dancers are just really bad at hiding who they are and actors are really really good.
I took a quote from the show
'There are two types of people in this world. The spectators and the performers.'
I like it.
I don't think we need too but I was thinking... and I guess experiencing different things.. y' know, pushing your own personal boundaries and at least trying something new can't be a bad thing no?