The final day of Colab came about very quickly. Restrictions with room bookings meant we had a shorter 3 hour rehearsal time in the morning to run our work. The final day was just an opportunity to keep running the piece to let it sink in.
As usual we started with warm ups to bring every one together, and get every one thinking on the same level. In this warm up we looked more at stretching, and movement of the body. Various exercises meant putting the body in to different positions and feeling the transference of weight, sometimes working in pairs to reposition our selves. This was another peek into exercises from martial arts.
After this we headed straight to our places to make our first run through. Now a routine has developed, so people knew what to expect and it started to fall in to place like clockwork. Overall the run through was good, however the level of concentration that is needed for this music is so high that minor slip ups occurred. I speak on my behalf for this. ‘Odd’ Metres are a very weak subject for my self, and require much higher concentration than others, despite playing the compositions now for a few days, there were still fragments of the music, I would still trip over (much to my disappointment). At this point however it was too late for me to do anything about this, as the information simply needed longer to filter into my brain.
Here’s our final run through in the studio from start to finish:
Now the work was set, it was just a case of organising our selves in the theatre and then performing! We re-assembled in a circle to reflect on the week by listening to each others thoughts and comments on what they have learnt or will take away from the week. Our favourite comment that came from all the musicians was ‘I really enjoyed working with the dancers’. It has been apparent how great it is to work with another art form to feed your own ideas and influence your performance. Making a much higher form of art for the audience and performer.
I recorded our thoughts and can be found here:
We had a sound check at around 5, were we set up and got used to the sound and the space, moving our selves around stage as necessary. After this a break for a couple of hours until we came back to warm up. Keeping on the similar thread to what exercises we have been using, we assembled in a group to warm up and connect with each other so we were ready to perform.
The performance for me was very nerve-racking. Although I had tried my best to control this with the warm ups, this did have a negative impact on the performance. It was the usual chattering of the brain, ‘will I remember this’, ‘whats the next bit’, ‘I dont want to play a wrong note or let any one down’. Despite being completely relaxed in rehearsals, the new space and the audience piles on the pressure. I think also due to the music requiring such a high level of concentration, none of us wanted anything to go wrong out of respect for Nik. The whole performance though was a success and flowed from start to finish. The dancers were as spectacular as ever, with the two mediums feeding each other. Nik was as calm as ever, effortlessly cueing each part with complete clarity.
The performance was a success.
What has become apparent throughout the week was the connection between Nik’s artistic direction and his daily life, they worked as one. Everything he did with in his martial arts worked directly into the music or his day-to-day life. Nik is such a clear defined leader, everything approached with a clear level head and with self belief in what he is doing. This didn’t however affect his openness to suggestions or to let us perform his work with our interpretation. These are all traits I would love to take away from this week and integrate into my own leadership and projects. The whole week was planned and structured brilliantly with a clear development and purpose. We progressed quickly because of the mutual respect every one had for each other and that clear stimuli were given to create work from. Nik’s independence of rhythm has challenged my playing and approach. Its become apparent that I need to create exercises to develop this in the future.
It has been a pleasure to work with so many talented people, and ones with a such a driven work ethic. To learn from Nik’s approach has been a meaningful experience and I hope I have the pleasure of performing with him again.
The only sad thing, about the final day, was the fact I didn’t have a chance to see what others had created. So much hard work and effort had been put in to so many different projects, I just hope they all got the appreciation they deserve. I just managed to catch the klezmer band after our performance in the foyer and a another dance project in our break before sound check.
After all this hard work, it was time to wrap it up and celebrate by going to the pub for a good pint or two! It has been great to finish my Colab experience at trinity with a great project.