Only a brief round-up this evening, it has been a fulfilling but exhausting day...
This, our second day on the project, was magically transformed by the presence of Riannon's amazing students from The Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy in Southport. In only 2 short hours Riannon choreographed them into a 'ballroom scene' which turned out beautifully. I am once again blown away by dancers and their capacity to tell a story through movement. With an average age of around 15, these 10 kids were absolutely stunning and graceful. Their concentration and discipline was very impressive.
For the rest of the day Ri and I improvised around passages of text, finding song and movement within the words. It was a beautiful day of relaxed focus, and expansive approach. Such a joy. The work continues to bloom before our eyes, pieces coalesce, the story telling itself to us as we open further to the process...
Getting into the room at last to start work is at once exciting and daunting - an odd mixture of feelings. On the one hand it is exciting - and a huge relief - to finally be getting to work on pulling the ideas through from "The Land of If" to "The Land of It Is". But on the other hand, my inner knees quake somewhat at the enormity of the task. As I drove up to Bundall to get into Theatre 2 at HOTA, I had to wrangle my way through the usual anxieties and worries about how exactly I would manage to get to grips with it all, feeling like I had bitten off the proverbial - all the self-doubts that artists go through as par for the course. I told myself (one more time!) - just take the deep breaths and...trust.
The relief came from the place it always does - the shared process with the artist or artists you are working with. As soon as the collaborative conversation opens up, The Story becomes its own entity. Then all you need to do is open up and allow The Story to tell itself through you. At this point, I usually breathe a large sigh of relief and begin to enjoy the ride.
For shared process, I could not do better than my current collaborator Riannon McLean. I have long been stunned by her grace and her capacity to communicate through movement. It is just an incredible experience to see that grace emerge in response to my singing. It is a joy to explore The Story with her.
Day One of Salt Water City was epic, exhausting, intriguing and blessed with all sorts of little good omens - such as the roccoco lounge lurking behind the legs stage right in Theatre 2. That lounge is now a character in the show. Didn't see that coming.
Here's to the surprises!
At the beginning of the year, when HOTA put out the call for Gold Coast artists to send expressions of interest to their Creative Development Programme, I immediately saw an opportunity to connect further into the cultural fabric of my new hometown. I also saw an opportunity to link back up with an amazing artist who was also making her home here on the GC, contemporary dancer Riannon McLean.
Ri and I met in Brisbane, when I had the incredible privilege to work on Expressions Dance Company's stunning and emotional work, Where The Heart Is, choreographed by Natalie Weir with a score by John Rodgers. Working with Riannon again, especially on something that we create ourselves, from the ground up, was one of the smartest ideas I have ever had. And it turns out HOTA agreed because they kindly offered us a Small Bite seed fund to get to work with. Fantastic!
So on Monday morning we load in to The Space at HOTA and start the serious conversation and the serious fun! Stay tuned here for updates.