Photo: Commit to the whoosh! – Shadow Girl

Thursday’s rehearsals entailed many exciting things including filming, a change in scenery and committing to our whoosh (more on that in a moment).

Phil joined us for the day to film our rehearsals – cue a few mirror checks and the hard work starts now.

The warm-up leading into Susan’s movement rehearsal was so much fun and provided us with the tools required for the rest of the day. We began by sending a ball of energy (primarily a whoosh before it evolved) around a circle we had formed, paying attention to using our eye contact and body language to communicate with each-other – ensuring we fully ‘commit to our whoosh’. We went on to apply these communication techniques in a series of tactile exercises to train our understanding of how to approach our audience in Manchester.

We went on to work in small groups, creating moving images. Working in smaller groups enabled performers to experiment with the chemistry of the different groupings, offering us all a glimpse at potential smaller troupes within the whole company. As we reflected upon creating momentary tableaus which continually changed as the performers shifted, it was apparent that the process felt at its most harmonious when performers were fully aware of everybody in their group – once again we found ourselves committing to our (metaphorical) whoosh.

After a refreshing lunch break with a few taking a trip outside into the sunshine and others having some downtime inside, we revisited formation work. Artistic Director, Tom, refreshed our former training which saw us spilling out into the outdoor spaces at Gorse Hill Studios, making the most of the glorious weather to hone our V formations. Michael was the rule breaker, as ever, reminding us of the complex relationship between rules and creativity in our work – a balance Michael masters perfectly.

We certainly enjoyed exploring the different ways in which our artists move around a space during performance, causing our formation work to become even more interesting as we aim to devise polished transitions.

[Top Tip: Clue up on Morse Code if you fancy hearing some – potentially explicit – hidden messages in our mobility scooter beeps]

To end the rehearsal on our usual high, a few performers were directed to move across the stage in front of an audience in a perfect line whilst wearing, arguably, the most challenging element of our costumes. Suffice to say, they did not achieve their objective but provided much entertainment for the audience and performers alike!

We’re looking forward to sharing more of our rehearsal process, play and exploration over the coming days and weeks.

Written By Imogen Barton Wells

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