As I mentioned in my final evaluation, it was both challenging and rewarding to perform in the other pieces. Here is a brief evaluation from my point of view being a collaborator and performer in the pieces.
I loved performing in Sam’s piece! He was clear from the beginning that my character was going to be the office bully, but he gave me lots of free reign within this instruction to experiment, explore and push the character as far as I could.
Sam used the layering technique well during rehearsals, it worked when we created raw movement and tried layering different intentions on top of this until he found exactly what he was looking for.
I enjoyed being able to explore my character through movement and voice because I think it brought out different qualities to the character and made her have more depth. Once I had arrived at my character Sam was a great director in pushing me to explore physicality further, and making my movements much more stylised and consistently in theme with the rest of the show whilst standing out as the leader.
Sam realised part way through the devising process that he had to make this piece unique to himself and something that no one else could have created. That was a turning point where he really switched it up a gear and was as precise and detailed as possible in everything he did. It allowed the piece to develop into a more unusual style; he started encouraging more experimenting with the props and worked on many different endings until he found the perfect one.
Overall, I think Sam encouraged us to use the techniques learnt in the course to create his vision and it was a very enjoyable experience!
Welcome to the Show!
For Julia’s piece, it took a while to get going because she wasn’t always sure of her creative ideas, but once she decided on the Circus theme we were away! Very early on she paired Sam and I up and simply directed us towards making 2 duets: the first a duet where I am being humiliated by Sam, and the second a duet using the hula hoop as a prop. We were left to our own devises then given extra layers to add onto the work as we went.
I think the final piece did show what Julia was aiming for; it touched on the cruelty of caged animals, explored the poor working conditions lots of performers face and showed that there are 2 sides to every story. She used the layering technique well and was a good director for letting us as performers explore possibilities before setting anything.
As a performer, the duets with Sam were in a style I enjoy performing. It was strangely fun being humiliated and I like the earthy, heavy movement quality this theme provides. I liked being able to use the hula hoop but I think we could have explored it more, especially using it as something different and seeing how far we could go.
Although this piece came together at the end I did find the process slightly frustrating. It was sometimes difficult to work with Laura as she hadn’t been there for a lot of the course so we weren’t used to her movement quality, way of working and directorial skills. I felt disconnected from the piece, I wasn’t given many opportunities to create material from a given starting point and because of this I didn’t enjoy the process so much.
The final group scene was the climax of the piece and worked well to tie all these different characters together and give a change of pace, spacing and scene. I liked how it got faster and more manic, eventually culminating in a circular structure that took us right back to the beginning of the piece. I think that gives the audience a nice sense of completion and settlement.
As a supporting character in this piece, it was lovely to see the work unfold as Anatoli gave herself and Sam different tasks for each section. By being clear in her commands she could make each part unique and personal to the memory or photograph she was basing it on and I think you could really see in the final piece how personal it was to her. The layers she added worked well and she wasn’t afraid to try things and discard them if it wasn’t working.
She had slight difficult with defining who me and Julia were, but once she decided we were mischievous almost wood nymph like characters it gave us both much more purpose and stopped us being so much of an instillation and more like performers in the piece.
I think Anatoli used projection, set and sound well to enhance the work. They all got added in at different points to provide greater depth and it worked well, especially to show the changing randomness of the journey and to break up the linear structure.
I think her ideas came across well and it was lovely that the piece was so personal and honest. Also, what a brilliant title!