Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance Round 1 Audition

This weekend I travelled up to London to attend the SEAD audition. I was not feeling particularly confidant because of a back injury that I had been dealing with the past three weeks and the cramped eight hour coach journey up to London did nothing to ease my discomfort. On the Friday night I went to watch a couple of my friends in the London Contemporary graduate show. The student choreography was really interesting and the quality of the dancers themselves was outstanding.

The next day I travelled to Siobhan Davies Studios to attend my audition. It consisted of a one hour contemporary class and then a showing of a pre-prepared solo. I found the contemporary class very challenging as the focus was on making your body relax fully before switching all your muscles on again instantly – going from zero to a hundred in an instant. This is something that I had not experienced to this extent before and it was a big test of how well I was in control of my body and how well I could work my muscles.

We all performed our solos in the same room so we were able to watch everybody else perform. This was quite intimidating as normally you only have to perform to the five or so people on the judging panel and not a whole audience. The solos were also performed in silence, which makes it difficult for you to judge how much time you have left, as they still had to be under 3 minutes, and there is also no impetus or energy from the music, you have to provide it all through your movement. In some ways it was interesting to perform in silence, as it meant you were not restricted by the tempo of the music and you could create your own highlights and rhythms, but I did find it very challenging and it made me realise that I should work with silence more.

I found this audition the hardest out of all of my auditions for a number of reasons. Firstly I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well as this is one of my top choices, this made me nervous and tense which did not translate well into my movement. I also found the class incredibly difficult as it was a way of moving that I had not really experimented with or fully discovered. Because of these reasons it was not only the most challenging audition but the one I enjoyed the most – I felt I learnt so much just in that short space of time and it assured me that I would not be disappointed if I attended SEAD.

New Dimensions!

New Dimensions!

 

This weekend we took our youth company, Attik Youth, to London to perform in the U.Dance New Dimensions event. This event is a choreographic competition aimed at youth companies who are verging on a professional standard. It was an incredible platform for me to show my work and to be seen by dance artists and companies from across the country. As well as being a great opportunity for myself, it also gave the dancers a chance to perform in a very open and public space in London. This is something that they have not done before. I think this experience has given the dancers more confidence in their performance ability and I hope it was an exciting and enjoyable show for them. It was also good to see what else was going on in the country with regards to youth work, what styles were popular and which choreographers are working with youth companies at the moment.

IMG_2050

 

We had a class with two other companies, led by a lady from Rambert, which was a really good simple warm up for the groups and it also gave them a chance to chat to each other and socialise a bit. It also gave us an opportunity to take a step back and see where our classes could be improved, watching our dancers and seeing what technique work we need to do with them. This is a continuing conversation that we have about how we can better the training we provide for our Attik Youth company.

The performance itself was brilliant, we were in the Clore Ballroom in the Southbank centre which is a huge building that hosts various art exhibitions, plays and dance performances. The show was open to the public and the building was filled with a huge audience of dancers, choreographers and unsuspecting humans who had just wandered in. It was lovely to be able to take a step back and just watch the piece in its entirety without taking notes or worrying about counts, I fully trusted my dancers to do the piece as best they could and to enjoy it.

 

I have learnt so much from the whole experience of creating and showing this piece, from new ways of creating tasks and even how to interact with dancers to the paperwork and logistics of taking a group of young people to London to perform. It has been an invaluable opportunity and something I very much appreciate Attik giving me the chance to do. I hope to continue to use all these skills I have learnt and improve my work with Attik and any other companies I choose to work for.

All in all, the whole day was an exciting and exhausting experience, for myself and the dancers. It is definitely something I would want to repeat as I loved the whole process and seeing the young people so excited to perform really made the whole thing worthwhile.

IMG_2047

 

Event Categories