This week we have been playing with the chairs. Using Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms the performers have improvised with the chairs as individuals. I then encouraged the performers to play with the rhythms and the chairs as a group. Very quickly some fantastic material has emerged:
- moving as a group
- moving the chairs in different ways, eg. rolling underneath them or next to them to move them through the space
- Pushing the tipped over chairs – the idea of a barrier came to mind when watching
- Manipulating the chairs, so that they look like humans marching
- The chairs are no longer an object but a living object that the performers have a relationship with
- floating chairs balanced on the feet of the performer
Through another playful task, Claire Coache (Artistic Director from Open Sky Productions) and I asked performers to show us what other objects the chair could turn into. Many ‘objects’ were related to things one would find at a playground. A very effective seesaw was created.
The performers soon became very playful themselves and were playing in their self-created obstacle course, which consisted of the performers stepping from chair to chair.
This stepping from chair to chair soon emerged into a way to travel from one side of the room to the other, which was then complicated by the fact that one chair was ‘roasting hot’ and as such the performers soon found ways to avoid the chair or to only stay on it for a limited amount of time.
The rehearsal continued with Claire taking the lead. We revisited the poem by Nicola Davies and identified the various sections that will need to be covered in order to tell the story. A rehearsal scheduling exercise was followed by a short improvisation task around the war ‘arriving’ at the school to generate material. We played with the use of sound that was progressively getting louder as the war neared the school.
More in the next rehearsal….