Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A friend in need

We all need a good friend now and then. Someone to talk to, vent at and have a laugh with. Well it seems i've acquired a whole bunch of new ones since taking up residence at the Brunton Theatre. The Friends of the Brunton Theatre are a group of community members who like to support whatever is going down at their local theatre and are basically pro-art. I was invited to give a talk about Room 2 Manoeuvre and my plans for the residency. As you can already tell....i dont mind talking about myself (hence this blog) so i was more than happy to give them the script. This ridiculous weather nearly stopped me having my moment. The wet, windy and cold nonsense i can take, but when it messes with my ego that's another matter. Luckily, the FOTB were as determined to get to the talk as i was to give it, so all my prep didn't go to waste. Now i wasn't gonna do any dancing (although i did end up doing a version of the running man as a demo of one of the first moves i learned). My plan was to talk, show some pictures and videos then answer any questions. I hadn't done a presentation since Vet School and that was like chewing through tar. I was gonna make sure i was a bit more relaxed for this one. It didn't start of too well as the technical equipment i had asked to be there, wasn't. But the good thing about developing a multi-media beast of a show like Watch iT! is that you're left with owning several bits of tasty kit. A quick nip up to my office/store room and the problem was sorted. I had to improvise the setting but it all seemed to go pretty well. I've noticed i talk as much with my mouth as i do with my hands. I couldn't tell if people were looking at me or my mittens but they seemed interested.

I got a few post talk questions. One of which was who are my "heros" in dance. I was pretty stumped by this question. There are a few local ones who i respect and have learned a lot from, but heros? I don't think there's ever been anyone I've looked up to in that way in the world of dance. Some dance companies and choreographers who's work stands out for me...maybe also some old school bboys that inspired me when i was getting into breaking. I'm beginning to wonder if i've lacked the hero element while developing (and still growing) as a dancer. Does it matter? Anyhow...small digression...another digression is that i'm just on the train back from G-town after seeing a Band i just discovered only last week - Brandt Brauer Frick. One of those internet discoveries that just blow you away when you hear it and now it's stuck on repeat. So good, i bought all the albums. that's me doing my bit for the music industry. But...what i mean to say id that i'm on the train sitting across from a grown up pair of clowns. Since sitting down they've managed to drop several food items onto the floor, spread all their Burger King wrapping across the table and are precariously messing about with bottles of water near my laptop. Would love to see what home looks like...no i wouldn't actually. Anyway, they've obviously had a good night out and are finishing it off with a double Whopper. We've all been there.

But back to the FOBT. It was good to finally begin connecting with some of the people that the building actually represents. I've been quite busy earning a crust so haven't been able to spend much time there of late. I'll be around now for a good couple of months and will be putting on my first show as a resident in April. Details to follow. I'm looking forward to the coming year and trying to make some kind of impact in the scene at the Brunton. It's not your regular type of Arts building as it's also the main council offices for East Lothian. There's also a particular type of audience who like a particular type of show. My work is definitely in the minority...but i like a challenge.

It looks like the clowns are starting to flag, and we are getting in to Edinburgh. I reckon they'll probably support each other on the way home...like good friends should.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Up in the air...

So much stuff going on right now in the land of R2M..it's bonkers! I still have my tan from the previous 2 months of sun and surf in Australia. But the stress might turn me pale once more. Apart from my impending identity crisis i'm busy juggling many balls...literally and metaphorically. This business is such an amorphous beast by nature that trying to stay on top of things is only a temporary state leading into chaos. The amount of energy one can expend into doing just that, ought to be enough to warrant any kind of fee at the end of a project...but it isn't. How is this business sustainable in the long run? I guess the dance industry as a whole will endure, but dance companies are another thing entirely. Much like dance itself you have to enjoy it in the moment and fall in love with the memory. However, we are not quite there yet. So dealing with the here and now, one of the balls up in the air takes the shape of a new/old duet that has been in the works since last dec. To be honest, it all started back in 2006 but if you have been paying attention to these posts then you'll know the back story. Sprawl will be a short duet created by Jennifer Paterson from All or Nothing and R2M. The piece is intended for outdoor spaces but will also be suitable for more traditional theatre venues. There are blocks...lots of them...we build things, we break them down and start all over again. Its like life...but a much shorter version. We're hoping to get this piece out and about this summer. You shall be informed.

So what else...well i'm off to Finland to oversee, partake in and perform at a screening of Public Service at the Loikka Dance Film Festival in Helsinki. Always game for a chance to get back over to scandinavia. Looks like a groovy festival and communications with the team up there have been good. The short film has been an incredibly useful and low cost method of spreading the word about R2M. If you have some work on film and haven't distributed it...do it. The bonus part of this trip will be to catch up with the legendary solider of fortune Jarkko Lehmus. The former Scottish Ballet pin up boy returned to his roots and has since been rocking the Finnish dance scene...no doubt killing it on the Zumba front as well. I will, however, be staying well clear of the crazed finnish lady who stole a pair of my American Apparel jogging pants...those that know, know!

March rounds off nicely with a presentation of Squish. Rejected for inclusion in a festival run by the same organisation where the work was developed (?), the good folk at City Moves reckon it's top material for the upcoming festival March Moves. R2M will be double billing with the coolest dancer in Scotland (no, not double billing with myself), Mr Jack Webb. Not to be missed.

See you next month for April Angst...x