A View From Rehearsals: Penguins Week 2
Assistant Director Hannah Jones gives us an insight into week two of Penguins rehearsals...
We have dived head first into our second week of rehearsals, exploring, discovering and testing the world we are creating. Throughout the week we have adjusted, condensed and added scenes to the story to make our narrative clear and cohesive.
We have found a rhythm to this process and now split our days in half to allow Carlos our Choreographer to create the movement; here he works with the story but also the tone and texture of the piece. We then feedback and our Director Paul adds intention to the movement created, as well as encouraging the dancers to say out loud their inner dialogue, ensuring the narrative is clear. Working on a show with no dialogue means the movement and the music are imperative to the storytelling.
Mid-week, the company had the chance to visit the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham to feed and meet the penguins. They were mesmerising to watch, and each penguin had their own distinct personality. Not only that, it gave us time to learn more about their behaviour and movements. Our aim is to stay true to penguin movement but also create its own stylistic quality. We also want to highlight and instil personality and character in the performances of our penguins, giving them an identity and charm rather than just uniformity.
We also visited City Academy and Nansen Primary school. Garth (the Composer) and I went to record young people of differing age groups and languages to talk about the penguins as if they were visitors at the zoo. As our play is based in Central Park Zoo in New York it is important that the visitors reflect the multi-cultural demographic of New York. While Garth set up his equipment, I delivered a workshop to the children that tested their penguin acting and warmed up their voices and imaginations. The children were full of excitement and keen to deliver when the microphone came out. It was a great reminder who we are creating this piece for and the importance of our story.
We ended the week with a stagger through of the whole piece, giving us the chance to see if the structure holds, the story is clear and to see if the music has the correct tone, pace and style for each scene. Although we still have work to do, it was great to see that the story was bubbling away and our world that we are creating is coming together.