I have been so incredibly impressed with the talent of the young dancers I have been working with in Shetland.
Last Sunday I travelled up from Manchester, where I had been working with MovementWorks to Shetland, where I am from. And boy does it feel good to be home. I really love it here; the place, the people and the sea. But what I have loved even more this time, is the genuine quality of the young dancers I have been working with.
5 attended this week’s Intensive. We trained 10-5 every day, consisting of dance technique class in the morning and creative time in the afternoon, where we created a piece to be shared July 16th at the beautiful venue of Mareel, which, come to mention it, has been another bonus of this working trip home. Mareel is a stunning venue, and a great place to work; it has such a creative atmosphere, the sea out of the window and is a real hub of activity.
We also created a dance film. I taught the dancers how to use the camera and also how to edit the film. They have created a film which will also be shared at the performance. You can see a sneak preview of their great work here.
The dancers up here are very determined. They all meet up once a week (for about 7 hours!!!!) to dance and create work themselves. They had asked me to pop along to see what they were up to and to offer my advice and choreographic services. Lets put it this way, they didn’t need any advice at all. They are making amazing work. The standard of dancing is very high and I find the commitment very honourable.
The dancers have also been working with Matthew Laurence, local ballet teacher which has been fantastic for me as they have a strong, technical base and are used to the dance class setting. These classes have given them such a stable grounding that it allowed me to push them in many different ways during the week.
I introduced improvisation and we used stimulus used by GAGA dance. I participated in a GAGA intensive in London a couple of years ago and love to spread the message of what I learnt from it. The lasses were unsure at first of improvisation, but take a look at this (photo below)!! I am so glad that I kept with the exercises, even though on day 1 it looked like they were not too keen at all.
I love the piece that we have made together, and really cannot wait to share it at the ‘Just Dance’ event at Mareel on Saturday 16th July. Book your tickets here.
And by the looks of it, it wasn’t just me that enjoyed the week!!!
I am so happy to have been teaching and choreographing up in Shetland, and aim to keep in touch with this lovely group of dancing lasses, and to keep my eye on dancing opportunities we can get involved with.
This opportunity will be happening again at Mareel in July 2017.