Photo: A Taste of What’s to Come – Shadow Girl

Another day another drama (of the good kind) as Proud & Loud continue our development of artist Chrissy’s new project, Shadow Girl.

Chrissy and our group of performers will be taking over Manchester City Centre on Sat 4 August and if you don’t want to miss out make sure to follow our social media accounts to keep up to date!

As the Shadow Girl project grows so does the company. We’re delighted to be joined by our friends, DIY Theatre and Bridges Company from The Octagon Theatre, Bolton who will join us to create this exciting new work.

It’s the end of the week and we’re all looking forward to the weekend! However, before we can rest and recuperate we need to dig deep and explore our group work further. We began by revisiting a movement exercise shared with us by Movement Director Susan.

We worked in small groups to create moving tableaus – one person in the group uses their body to create a shape and as they fall still the next member joins them. This is repeated until all members are a part of the tableau, after which only one member can move at any one time. Performers must use all their senses and be aware of each other. This task may sound easy but it required a lot of concentration, awareness and tension in the body. We were all knackered by the end of it… here we were thinking it would be an easy Friday!

No stopping just yet though! We were determined to experiment with this as one whole company and we were really impressed with the variety of shapes, movements and stories we were able to discover and play with.

We soon realised that our performance on the 4 August would require lots of energy and focus, but if we need to perform all day, where on earth will we find it all?

Artistic Director, Tom had the solution… a tennis ball? So began our wind-down and refocus work.

We were taught a combination of meditation, gentle exercise and mindfulness techniques to recharge ourselves. We moved small balls around our bodies; sometimes rolled under the foot to activate reflexology points, other times placed under parts of our body to relieve tensions and create an awareness of how our bodies sit or move. Before long we were revived and invigorated and ready to end the week with a bang.

One of our final tasks was to have as much fun as we could performing for each other using all the skills we’ve been exploring this week. In our groups we improvised all the mischievous things shadows could get up to together; many of which proved to be bizarre and wonderful. After twenty minutes the audience couldn’t take any more as, and I quote, they were “sweating with laughter”.

Unfortunately we can’t let you see everything we’re up to (wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise) but we’ll be sharing more little tasters of our experiments in the coming days so… follow and share please!

Written by Imogen Barton Wells

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