Archives for posts with tag: Brighton Festival

Blog5And so, once more, unto the beach… on the hottest day of the year (so far) and our pebbly stage is crowded with barbecuing flesh and the smell of weed is strong in the air. Most of the sunbathers move reluctantly away; some assert their rights to their beach, and we have to work round and over their bags, dogs, shoes, legs… We finally perform Tall Tales!

Crunching implacably from four directions towards our allotted (but not yet empty) performance space, in our costumes: traditional pacamacs in five colours, our props held high, unfazed by the puzzlement all around us…

“…they’re prawns affected by the sea’s plastic bag pollution”

“…they’re different bits of Brighton”

“… something to do with Shakespeare”

 

Come ON! It’s the Brighton Festival!! It’s bloody ART!!!

 

https://www.facebook.com/threescoredance/

www.threescoredance.co.uk

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Blog4-2

After another three hours rehearsal at The Spire, we’re finally on the beach! And it’s a dress rehearsal, so we’re in costume with our props, and working on the big pebbles. In front of us, the huge shining pole that is the i360; behind us, the sea and the West Pier skeleton. Lea is whistling our changes, and we’re crunching from position to position…

oskar schlemmer triadic ballet

 

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Freezing cold in the huge church! – our rehearsal space for this week. We’re watched by images of Jesus and saints from their bright stained glass windows. This is ‘The Oskar Schlemmer Re-Enactment Society’, (real title Tall Tales) and our carefully practised moves suddenly thrown by the introduction of our props.
Too cold for costumes in here, but it should be warm for Sunday’s performance on the pebbles by the West Pier. Pebbles?!!

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Rehearsal of the whole group: An hour of warm-ups and stretches, followed by working through two of Jason’s exercise sequences. Fortunately in the (middle section of) the Corn Exchange, so plenty of room this time. While we’re doing these, Faith arrives with four big laundry bags: our costumes and props! We’re not allowed to see them just yet (nor are you); then Lea arrives in trademark black gaucho-style hat, and we’re into rehearsal. Groups 1&2 into formation for our ‘Dolly’ sequence, while the other groups remind themselves of theirs. Then 1&2 go through their ‘baby-smallnose-skewer-hand-bignose-kebab-headless’ sequence, and make adjustments. Meanwhile Lea is watching the other groups with Jason fine-tuning. Then the bags are opened…

talesblog1

Three Score Dance has been commissioned by the Brighton Festival to work with famous choreographer Lea Anderson (The Cholmondeleys, The Featherstonehaughs) to make a new piece, Tall Tales.The Founder’s Room at Brighton Dome is rather small for a rehearsal for 50 people. No collisions even though we’re all moving rather quickly in different directions (and that’s just the warm-up). Because the company is so large (yes, 50), we’re split into two groups to rehearse on alternate sessions, but we all do the exercises together. We’re looking forward to the finished piece in the Festival, though we don’t yet have an idea of the final shape of it. Working with Lea is really exciting, and her designer Tim Spooner has dropped some intriguing hints about possible costume designs (I’m not telling!)

The piece is based on paintings and designs by the Bauhaus artist/designer, Oskar Schlemmer.

http://www.leaanderson.com/

nomadland

James is laying his dolly down in my living room. It’s fifteen feet long: two white plastic plumber’s tubes, a couple of feet apart. On top sits a platform with skateboard wheels, cunningly set at 45° so it can glide smoothly along the rails. And on top of that, a video camera and tripod bolted down. James and Harriet are here to film Max and me – son and father, in our capacity as, well, son and father.

Hofesh Shechter is the Israeli choreographer whose work is ‘earthy and blunt, powered by action and raw energy’ (says The Guardian), and characterised by intense physicality and relentless, oppressive percussion. His dancers fight and struggle, and move low across the stage like animals. His production, Political Mother, was a big hit at the Brighton Festival three years ago. Now he is producing Nomad Land for the Festival: ten short films, ‘movement duets which choreographically and visually explore male behaviours’. One of them is exploring ours.

We don’t know how our film will turn out: actually we have a good close relationship. We rack our brains to think of conflict, rebellion, repression, but mostly, as we’re interviewed, we remember funny stories and poignant episodes, and lots of laughter in our little family. The formal dance pieces are not so much about struggle as parting, and now, here in the living room, we put on the disco classic Young Hearts Run Free, and dance crazily (and freely) over and in-between the dolly tracks while James, Harriet and the camera glide in and out of our male behaviours.

‘Nomad Land… In this collaborative dance and film project a group of men from across the generations come together with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival Resident Company, Hofesh Shechter Company, and student film makers to explore the energy and complexity of male relationships.’

University of Brighton Gallery, Grand Parade, Free, Sat 4 – Sat 18 May 10am – 5pm, Thurs late night opening until 8pm
Produced by Hofesh Shechter Company and Brighton Festival in collaboration with University of Brighton

‘Uprising’ by Hofesh Shechter Company

The sky is very blue, and the sea a lovely milky turquoise, glittering in the late May sun. I’m waiting for the Madeira Tower lift, topped with a peeled globe, dolphins and a scaly roof, and it’s taking me down into Concorde2, Brighton’s music venue on Madeira Drive.

I’ve been back in the UK for 24 hours, and I’m feeling fine after the flight from Tokyo. Nervous, though: tonight is Ska Toons’ Ska-Kestra gig. It’s our annual big-band gig, featuring at least twenty musicians, in the Brighton Festival. We soundcheck, and it sounds terrific out front. Then we adjourn for coffee and cake to the café on the beach.

There’s a big crowd queueing at the door, and an excited buzz backstage. Helen’s nervous as well, so we wind each other up, enjoying getting rather hysterical. DJ Amma has got the crowd sweating, and they roar as The Ska-Kestra troops on stage. The band kicks into our opener – ‘Garden of Love’ – with the fifteen horns punching out the tune.  And the crowd are dancing, and they don’t stop.

Finally, Helen and I are cheek-to-cheek, sharing one microphone, singing the rousing closer, All Of My Life, and dancing. Heaven.

The next day, of course, I feel groggy. And the next. And…