Thursday, 12 April 2012

A trip to the circus

Just off the train from london town and first stop is kilimanjaro coffee and a croissant. I didn't have time to get any before i left and i certainly won;t be drinking the "coffee" on the train. I sometimes feel that people can be divided into two types...those that eat on the move and those that sit down. I belong to the former and am trying to shift over to the latter in an effort to enjoy things a little bit more. SO i am enjoying my current sustenance and filling the time with writing this post - perhaps i've just contradicted myself there?

Anyway, I've just come back from a little trip to the circus...or rather the cirque. The show in question is Undermän. I saw the online promo a while back and it's stuck with me since. It's all about 3 rather large blokes (practically vikings as they're from Swedish circus production group Cirkus Cirkör) making sense of life after heart break. They are quite a talented bunch i must say. As well as an array of perfected tricks, they also provide their own live soundtrack with drums, guitars, accordion and an additional cellist. Just think scandanvian folk, rock, contemporary classical cross over. It's a very warm, light-hearted and humorous show. If i have to point the finger at anything then i would say there's a couple of times when they drop the ball (literally), in the sense of losing the audience. Basically, the directing could be tighten up in parts. But it's good. And they save the best til last with a dance/acro trio of these big dudes throwing each other about. Surprisingly very nimble. Check it out while you still can at the Roundhouse. Who knows, they may even make an appearance at the fringe....

Underman crew + stylophones
I didn't fancy much of the professional dance classes that were on during this week so i decided i would get my kicks the DIY way. I tagged on to Ghetlow Pirate and rising star on the uk bboy scene (he'll like that!), Ben Jammin and hit up local practice spot, Trocadero, smack in the centre of town. It was good to work off the rust in the run up to Saturday's battle. Apart from the inevitable sound clash, as dancers bring their own sound systems to the area, it's a pretty good spot with a nice floor. I'll be heading back upon my return for Breakin' Convention.

Trocadero spot...panorama went a bit wonky but you get the idea.

Good friend, Eddie Spoons, put a brother up for the period i was there. The poor lad only went and broke a metatarsal after scorching some of london's bboys at a recent jam. Not one to sit back and relax, he's stoking the fires of the east london social scene by co-organising a wee get together under the name Unity. I'll be forming part of the DJ squad. Good people, good vibes...if you're in town, get down. Big love to Ed star...get well soon.x

Funk in the bunk with Ed Spoons

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Moving out, moving in, moving on.

Well as mentioned previously, R2M has become a resident company at Brunton Theatre. As things had bene pretty hectic since the start of the year it had been very difficult to find the time to physically move in to my new office space. However, as work has calmed down bit recently i decided to finally make that move. Since 2009, i had been storing the set of Watch iT! Gradually this had become a more expensive endeavour so first port of call was to close my account with the storage company and shift all my goodies over to Brunton. This would be temporary until a suitable space became available associated with the theatre. Monday was to be the day. I had an early start to meet Ken, my courier. A man of few words and as stoic as they come. We picked up the goods easily enough, i wept a tear and said goodbye to my Sighthill storage depot. We're off! I had visions of how relieved i would be in a few hours. It was going to be a pain to unload all this stuff up a few flights of stairs...but it would all be worth it. We arrive at the theatre. it's awful quiet i thought to myself...not many cars about...getting a parking space was surprisingly easy. I ran up the stairs to test out my new swipe card and waited for the beep that would be music to my ears as the door would open and beckon me inside....nothing happened though! I tried again. Was this a dud? I couldn't understand it. I rang the doorbell. Banged on the window. There was no one about. And then the penny's Bank Holiday Easter Monday. As the building is council run they adopt national holidays...or something like that. Either way the place was baron and i was not going to be unloading anything there on that day. Ken shrugged, i scratched my head and decided that we had to take the stuff to the courier's warehouse and keep it there overnight. What a faff! That set the tone of the day to a nearly-but-not-quite mood. I told ken i'll be back at 9am the next day...he grumbled something which i think meant he concurred.

The next day we loaded up in record time. We arrive once more at the familiar building. this time i've phoned ahead to make sure they weren't helping themselves to another day off. There are about 3 flights of stairs to climb up to get to the office door. That was my exercise for the day. I don't fancy being the technicians who will be taking Watch iT! to Paris in June. Ill be on a plane while they are loading up. Anyway, we got it done. I parted with some cash, said thanks to Ken and he proceeded to tell me how his day was panning out. Maybe he just needs a little time to warm up....we'll never know. So im in. Maybe i have my priorities mixed up but first thing i wanted to do was put up a blog voila!

moving out...

ken looks on in quiet disarray

moving in and moving on....

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Office Boy

Well i wrote a pretty decent blog post a little earlier but multi-tasking with other applications proved too much and it succumbed to an error of some sort.  You can't keep a good man down (actually you just needs the right equipment) so here it is once more....

It's been a while since i put finger tips to keyboard. I have been busying myself getting back to basics and being a jobbing dancer. I have recently finished rehearsals and a tour for Curious Seed's production PUSH. This saw us take the work to various nooks and crannies of Scotland including Mull and Findhorn, which i had never been to. Much fun was had on the tour and it was great to be just simply dancing again and not worried with admin, organising or indeed choreographing. The final show was a total sell out and really well received by a local Edinburgh crowd. For now, everything is packed up in storage but i hope there will be more performances in the future.

As well as good things happening on stage, they have been happening off stage as well. I now have an office! Yes indeed...Room 2 Manoeuvre is now a resident company of Brunton Theatre. I may even begin to start wearing a tie to work, but probably fashionably coupled with some jogging bottoms. This is quite a significant step in the development of R2M. At the very least the company has a proper postal address rather than my own. I have yet to actually move in. Priority items to get include plants and quality stationary well as come up with some quality ideas to contribute to the arts scene out in East Lothian. Perhaps done under the banner of "What the 'EL?"...or maybe not. Either way i'm extremely happy that the folks at Brunton have seen R2M as a worthy investment and i hope the company can deliver.

However, i do know that R2M will be delivering 23 shows of WATCH iT! this August. After numerous funding and performance/festival application rejections, the company was successful in it's application to be part of Made In Scotland 2012. This programme helps to support Scottish companies to present work at the Edinburgh Fringe. I'll be setting up shop at Zoo venues and keeping a daily reportage on fringe happenings. I will don my best Del Boy outfit and be selling the show like bonkers. It's gonna be a crazy month and ill be making the most of it to make sure R2M will be coming to a theatre near you...soon (ish).

What else has been going down...well The Glitch project had it's (world) premiere at the Macrobert Theatre last sunday. Things went without a glitch and was a good start to the performance element of the project. The installation is on a UK tour with the Human Race Exhibition...check out the link and you can have go at trying to be's not easy being me...i'm just letting you know. Following the tour i also had a week in the studio with Tom Pritchard. This marked the beginning of turning the Squish solo i developed into a duet. As the work's theme is partly based on the game of squash it only seemed fitting that we play a few games. Below is a video of my highs and lows during our game play. Tom currently leads about 40 - 4. I'll be practicing over the summer to try and level the may take some time.

So it's been a thoroughly busy start to the fact pretty solid since the beginning of Jan. Next week is totally empty so it's a good excuse to get back on the grind and re-ignite the bboy fires. I've signed myself up to battle fellow semi-OG Sideshow Maule at their Flyin' Jalapenos 10 yr Anniversary Jam on April 14th. A worthy event to make a rare appearance in the cypher so if you're anywhere near Glasgow at the time then check it out. I'm also going to take in a london. Since i saw the promo for the Underman show it's stuck with me. So much so that i bought a stylophone from ebay (you have to view the "dancing with myself" video).  I'll let you know if it's worth the train fare.