“Shadowed Voices” at The Point

On the 20th of April, Anna and I did a class with the rest of the company dancers and YG dancers. We only did a tiny bit of the class because we needed to practice and rehearse our duet piece “Shadowed Voices”.

Once we got to The Point in Eastleigh, we performed our duet to this group of young adults. This group wanted to know what it’s like to watch professional dancers dance. Anna and I were amused that they were studying StopGAP itself and our work within our company.

After we’ve performed, we had an interview chat with the group. The group enjoyed the performance and came out with good interesting feedback and questions.

Today we are getting ready for our performance at Farnham Maltings as part of the StopGAP evening here.  Yesterday Vicki watched a run of the show and was very pleased.  She gave us lots of notes that I have been practicing.  Tonight Anna and I will perform our piece after “Within” and I am very excited.

Hannah performing "Shadowed Voices"

My Albania adventure

 

On the Saturday 2nd of April, Sho and Lucy rung me up at 20.30 pm on that evening about going to Albania as Chris Pavia had an ear infection and couldn’t fly. It was a last minute shock and they wanted me to go with the other dancers. When I got to Albania on Sunday morning with the dancers, we’d been rehearsing in this common room, quite small but big enough to dance. We all had to rehearse everything for the Albanian performance we all had to show on Tuesday evening.

On the next day, we also did more rehearsing at a college where they had a bigger dance room. We had the space till 15.00 pm. For the rest of the day, we had time to play and lie around in out hotel rooms or go out in the sun.

On the next day, we’ve been rehearsing at the theatre to practice for the performance on that Tuesday night. The performance went really great and nerve wrecking but in the end we got through it. After the performance, we all went out to dinner to the Ambassador’s manor and met loads of people wearing formal party wear. The night was young and fun. Me and the other dancers loved it all because we had a lot of fun and lots of laughter.

On the day before Anna and I got back home, I had done an interview with a journalist about StopGAP itself and the education work that we do. On that same day, later on Anna and I had our make up done because we both performed our duet piece “Shadowed Voices” on the Albanian TV show.

Now at this moment, I want to go again and do more performances abroad with the main group. By going to Albania, I’

After her performance

ve learned a lot about what they do and what they want to achieve.

 

Youth Group dance workshop in Haslemere

On Thursday 24th Feb, we went to Haslemere with Anna and the Youth Group. Once we got there, we all met up with all the participants, and there were two other workshop sessions including music and art. Anna and I, and the Youth Group did our dance workshop where we all teach our piece to the dancers.

Firstly, before we start moving, Anna told me and the other teachers of the day our plan. When our dancers came, we all did a warm up to keep us warm and moving before we started. After the warm up, we did a class of a few exercises that Anna and I lead.

Secondly, after the class, Gordon and Anna had taught the dancers the main piece’s chorus (from the Youth Group’s work, ‘Pleased to Meet’) and both decided to split the dancers into trios. Trios are when three dancers work together as a group.

Thirdly, after lunch, Nick and I had taught the dancers our duet. The dancers did respond back to us by using their own three creative movements. Duets are two people working together as partners.

In the end, the other participants from the other sessions watched the dancers and our performance. Everyone loved it and clapped for our hard work.

First few months

I have now been working as a full time StopGAP Apprentice for nearly 6 months. Once I first got the job, I was delighted and excited about it. So far I’ve thoroughly enjoyed going on tour which I did over the summer as part of two outdoor pieces, Gleam Clean and Tracking. I also enjoyed the rehearsal process for Tracking and Gleam Clean. I’m looking forward to doing more rehearsals and performances for future pieces.

My role as a professional apprentice dancer means so much to me. As part of my job, I’ve been doing a lot of education projects around Surrey and on the Isle Of Wight. I’ve also been involved in creating a piece that Chris Pavia (StopGAP main company dancer) created for Anna Pearce and I to do as a duet.

The apprentice company often takes class with the main company dancers but while the main group is now on tour, Anna and I rehearse and direct our creative and education work together. Anna Pearce mentors me and is the lead apprentice dancer.

When me and Anna do workshops we tend to plan what we do during rehearsal time. The workshops we go to are based in Surrey. At the workshops, we always do a warm up first (which one of us will lead). Secondly, we do a warm up exercise that focuses on a certain idea. Our workshops often include travelling exercises, partner work and improvisation (freedom to do your own movement). Lastly, we have a cool down.

I’ve developed a lot of new skills and I’ve learnt to create and teach exercises to children and young adults (basic exercises like swings etc). I’ve also learnt some travel training (trained by myself and my mum) to get me to workshops and rehearsal venues e.g. Farnham Maltings and Westfield School. I hope I will learn a lot more in the future. I used to get buses but I would wait for them which would make me tired and made my days longer. Now I’m taking trains, which is easier for me and quicker for me to get around so I won’t get too tired. At first, I travelled with someone else but I’m now confident in travelling by myself.

My role in workshops is to help the students learn and if they don’t understand things they ask us to help them out. Anna’s role is the same as mine but she also guides me in learning new skills and developing my role. I enjoy demonstrating StopGAP’s work and encouraging others to develop their dance skills.

Our work with Chris made me feel happy and creative. His dancing really made me upbeat and motivated. Chris demonstrated his ideas which got me and Anna really working hard. Chris knows what he wants in his movement and Anna and I had to learn lots of movement, which Chris edited to be shortened.

The piece ‘The Voices Within Ourselves’ is about supernatural creatures and finding out more about ourselves. Apart from the movement, Chris had written a script which we recorded (Chris, Anna and me) over the music. I hope (fingers crossed) that I might be choreographing dances like Chris is doing now.

The first two performances of the piece (at events for Surrey Arts and Horsham District Council) were good. Anna and I felt like fireworks to the audience. The audience loved it and received great feedback. We are also repeating this piece at other venues, which I’m really looking forward to.