Wed, 2012-04-25 23:55
Over the past four months I have been privileged to have been involved with Steps Youth Dance Company on their major season project of Try Hard. Artistic Director Alice Lee Holland, performance psychologist Shona Erskine and Sofie Burgoyne spent six months conducting workshops in schools across Western Australia to see what is affecting young people in the 21st century. Instead of the stereotypical perceptions of teenage angst; they found many factors affecting motivation, apathy, influence and independence. And combined with dance and theatre, Parkour is the perfect metaphor to describe this to the wider community.
Of the 48 dancers, 20 of them have been training with me every week since December to learn Parkour and to use this movement in a way that keeps true to the discipline, especially the concept of Reach and Escape. I already had expectations and initial thoughts about how to train them as they are very fit and have good proprioception. What I did not expect was the sheer determination these dancers brought to training. Correcting subtle body position and movements proved to be shockingly easy; and apart from the occasional complaining about the ever increasing length of quadrupedal exercises and scratched hands (rub in some fresh garlic people!) , they all have a highly competent level. Some of them have enjoyed it so much that they now undertake classes conducted by my friends and fellow instructors within the APA.
So as I now write this the final preparations are being made; the final rehearsals are being tweaked, the lighting setup is ready, the costumes are complete and the State Theatre of Western Australia is primed for Australia's first Dance/Parkour performance. The energy on stage, even now before the first showing, is palpable. I have worked on IT projects for many years but nonetheless I have been left impressed with the ability of the production team to develop and evolve one of the most thought provoking shows I have seen in a very long time.
It's going to be an awesome show. I wish all of you were here to see it with me <3 https://www.facebook.com/events/196796847098227/