Bedales sixth form dancers perform at The Point, Eastleigh

By Anastasia Sheldon and Ellie Wraight, 6.2

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Arriving at The Point in Eastleigh, ready to rehearse with Luke Brown (acclaimed dance artist and choreographer) was a daunting yet exciting experience. We spent three rehearsals with Luke’s professional dance company to create a piece which we then performed in front of an audience at The Point on 6 October.

Rehearsal 1

There was a nervousness in the air while we sat in a lobby surrounded by other dancers for the first rehearsal, but as soon as Luke entered the room his bright and wide smile soon washed away our uncertainty. None of us knew what we’d be creating and this gave us a certain freedom to create movement without limitation. We learnt some of Luke’s choreography, then developed it into our own styles – playing with our strengths and imagination. Being put in a room and told to start working with new people was intimidating, but we had no option but to get on with it and doing this forced us to our extremes; we ended up producing some really beautiful movement. This proved to be really quite successful and by the end of the rehearsal we had a four and a half minute piece which is half of what our final overall performance would be.

Rehearsal 2

sixth-form-dancers-perform-at-the-point-1-cropReturning to The Point, having just got over all our aches and pains from the last rehearsal, we were still enthusiastic to see what more work we could produce. We layered choreography together, creating a full and rich performance, based on caring for one another and community. Our movement uses a communal undertone throughout as we shift from space to space forming images of family portraits and soft love. Having developed choreography in our previous rehearsal we began to build on these concepts and form a structure to our piece. Playing to our strengths, Luke generated ideas and choreography which flowed and intertwined through our existing structure. As soon as we had a finished piece, we rehearsed for the rest of the day. Refining the movement and going through each section tying up loose ends and correcting every detail really helped to enhance the choreography and each movement became clearer to understand.

Performance: For you I long the longest: a double-bill consisting of Second Self and Princess

sixth-form-dancers-perform-at-the-point-3-cropLuke Brown’s company performed with such elegance and fluidity and highlights of real humanistic moments really illustrated the story clearly to the audience. Their closeness and engagement with one another conveyed the true feeling of family and friendship. Using contact both to support the happy, togetherness as well as the darker emotions experienced with love. The piece, Second Self, explores the idolisation of each other and one’s characteristics as well as the comparison to one’s self. For their second performance, Princess, only three dancers were used to create the darker undertone and harshness of love. While one narrates the other two dance to illustrate their words, their movement slowly became more and more aggressive towards one another. As well as being a nonfictional piece, it had a fairy-tale-like feeling, this subtly commented on our day-to-day relationships aided by the use of props and costumes helping it to be suited to all ages.

Overall

Walking away from each rehearsal having learnt new material and experimented with new ideas was extremely satisfying. Luke’s crazy personality took charge of our rehearsals and promised us a good time, this made it very easy to work with one other having not met before. His material and concepts were so different to anything we’d done before and really challenged our imagination to push for the best ideas we had. The rehearsals were tough and tiring but we produced some amazing work which ended up being used in our final performance.