Week 1: Shiver Rehearsals Stage Manager Erin Hayley Coubrough

Posted by Morgan Leek, October 26th, 2011

This week Danielle Micich and her team commenced rehearsals for Shiver at King Street Arts Centre. Performed by Gerard Van Dyck, Jacqui Claus, Leanne Mason and Lewis Kilpatrick, Shiver explores the gamut of human emotion experienced by four people faced with loss. Stage Manager Erin Hayley Coubrough gives us a brief overview of what’s been happening in the rehearsal room as the team prepare for the premiere season on the 17 November.

Words: Erin Hayley Coubrough, Stage Manager for Shiver

Shiver Rehearsals Photo: Sarah Rowbottam

I can’t believe it is only Wednesday! As of Monday this week, the rehearsals for Shiver began and already so much work has been revised and further developed. The cast and Danielle have been working hard not only re-visiting Shiver’s choreography and movement, but also re-visiting the content of the show. As I write this the cast are workshopping a whole new section, which will emphasis the themes presented in the piece.

When I started my first day with the Shiver team on Monday, I expected to be working on a dance show. Shiver is becoming so much more than that. The cast present each other with questions which all people could relate to and also ask themselves. This makes Shiver a very confronting, powerful and personal show. So far it is a joy to work on and I’m looking forward to seeing how the piece continues to develop.

17 – 19 November 2011
The Dolphin Theatre, UWA

In the lead up to the premiere of Shiver we will be releasing weekly vox-pop videos with the public. Last Saturday we spent the day in Hyde Park talking to friendly folk about the first thing they remember losing. Big thanks to everyone who stopped and shared their story!

Filed under Danielle Micich, Shiver

They ran til they stopped rehearsals

What’s a unique quality about your friend?

Posted by Morgan Leek, October 25th, 2011

Last week we asked city dwellers in the Perth Cultural Centre to write down a unique quality about their best friend and stick it to Lawrence, performer for They ran ’til they stopped.

They ran ’til they stopped is the latest show by Perth-based company The Duck House. Set in a domestic kitchen, They ran ’til they stopped is the story of three young housemates who are dealing with loss for the first time in their life. In their silent kitchen, they shelter from the cornflake rain, are unprepared for cabaret and eat romantic dinners for one. Together they relive past moments and write down qualities about their lost friend in the hope of moving forward.

Big thanks to the 157 odd people who shared a quality about their friend! Check out a video we made with Storybottle documenting the event below, or read the post-it notes collected on our facebook page here

Week 1 They ran ’til they stopped Rehearsals with Director Kathryn Osborne

Posted by Morgan Leek, October 21st, 2011

They ran 'til they stopped first reading

Words: Kathryn Osborne, Director for They ran ’til they stopped

It has been a very exciting start to They ran ‘til they stopped rehearsals. We spent the majority of our first week working on the physical choreo that opens the piece. The characters begin at a funeral for a friend which is followed by a section in which we see time passing.  Before rehearsals began, I knew that I wanted to find a physical and creative way to show that time had passed. So the cast and I began this week working with actions and developing ritual routines that we could then alter the rhythm and shape of to show that time had progressed.

It was quite a difficult section to put together, but I am pleased with our current draft. With the addition of sound and lighting elements I am confident that our ‘time lapse’ will be a visually engaging start to the work. The performers (Lawrence Ashford, Arielle Gray and Whitney Richards) did a great job in retaining the non verbal sequence, especially because each repetition might only change slightly for them! And of course I changed my mind quite a lot as usual.

They ran 'til they stopped first reading

They ran 'til they stopped first reading

They ran 'til they stopped first reading

I have really enjoyed working with the performers. The four of us have never worked together before but it has been a very joyful and refreshing experience. Everyone has brought such great enthusiasm and energy for the piece and each performer has leapt into the material with a strong sense of fun, trust and commitment. As a result of their infectious attitude, we have already managed to draft the first third of the show in under a week. And as our immensely helpful Dramaturg Jeffrey Jay Fowler stated, what we already have is already tightly executed and enjoyable to watch.

And of course we have made a ridiculous amount of mess with cereals of multiple varieties. It wouldn’t be a Duck House show without a serious amount of mess (we love our Stage Manager Alice Hatton!). The cast and crew are currently working on some nifty ‘cereal effects’ for the show, but I’ll keep my mouth shut about those as I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

The set design concepts are coming along nicely (Design by Duck Alissa Claessens) and some rewrites are already underway (Writing by Duck Gita Bezard). And I am so happy to have the talented Will Slade and Mike Nanning on board at the eleventh hour for sound and lighting design. Some great ideas from everyone so far!

More from me next week.

Kathryn Osborne, Director, The Duck House

They ran ’til they stopped
10 – 19 November 2011
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
Book online at www.pica.org.au
More info click here.

They ran 'til they stopped first reading

Outside In Artist Profile: Interview with Michael Whaites

Posted by Morgan Leek, October 12th, 2011

Tonight LINK Dance Company will present their final performance for the year at The Dolphin Theatre, UWA – Outside In.

Inspired by bringing the outside inside, this season of contemporary dance features new works by award-winning Australian choreographer Frances Rings, Amsterdam-based Paul Selwyn Norton, and LINK’s Artistic Director Michael Whaites, whose choreography is highly influenced by his time as a company dancer with Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal.

Performing Lines WA recently caught up with Michael to discuss this fantastic new performance and see what LINK’s plans are for their 10th anniversary in 2012.

Interview: Sarah Rowbottam (PLWA) and Michael Whaites, LINK (MW)

PLWA. First up, briefly tell me about yourself.

MW. Artistic Director/ resident choreographer of LINK Dance Company and Lecturer in Contemporary Dance at WAAPA. Founding member of Dance North, four years with ADT, four years in New York working with Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Irene Hultman. Five years with Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal. I have been choreographing dances since 1986

PLWA. You are currently one of three choreographers for LINK’s next show Outside In. Briefly tell me about your section of the work.

MW. A Poem for an Ailing Word came about from my current concern for the environment and how the body relates to urban and rural landscapes. It was created in part through improvisations, tasks and questions around its theme at a residency in the beautiful rolling hills at The Performing Arts Forum in St Erme France and inner city Perth. This work is a first time collaboration with Perth based Visual Artist Benjamin Forster who has designed the set and audio visual component of the work and marks my 6th work for LINK.

PLWA. 2012 sees LINK’s 10th year of operation. How has the company grown and changed since its inception with its first Artistic Director Chrissie Parrott in 2002? What can we expect in the future?

MW. The company’s consistent national/international touring, its engagement with local, national and international choreographers and increasing the company’s visibility nationally and internationally has been the focus of my tenure at LINK. The company has had graduates from all tertiary dance courses across Australia and New Zealand since 2006. Giving the dancers a variety of different choreographers and processes to hone their craft will remain its focus.

LINK’s 10th anniversary in 2012 will see a work by Twyla Tharp remounted on the company as well as 5 established Perth based choreographers making work and performing with the company.

PLWA.You have now been the Artistic Director of LINK for the past six years. What has been one of your fondest moments?

MW. There have been many! Pulling off a tour to Russia was a coup. Walking into the Quarry to a capacity audience another. My favorite part of my job though is seeing the dancers mature and grow into thinking dancers that are versatile and confident human beings.

PLWA.LINK is fantastic in providing emerging dancers support and training for one year. From your experience, what advice would you give to young aspiring dancers looking to develop their craft?

MW. It’s hard for emerging professional dancers in our current climate to get consistent experience which makes LINK even more important. As a dancer, training and learning never ends so finding ways and being pro active to continue this consistently is a must

PLWA.I recently watched the film by Wim Wenders Pina! and was mesmerized the entire way through so I must ask about your experience as the only male Australian dancer working with her. What was one moment that has continued to resonate with you after working with Tanztheater Wuppertal and Pina Bausch in Germany?

MW. Working with Pina taught me that dance is so much more than steps. She showed me beautiful ways to express humanity and life on stage.

PLWA. And lastly, will we be seeing you on stage in the not-so distant future?

MW. October next year with LINK! Along with other special guest performers.

About Michael Whaites
Michael Whaites returned to Australia in 1999 after an impressive international career including working with choreographers Twyla Tharp and Pina Bausch. After pursuing work as an independent choreographer and dance artist in Sydney, he moved to Perth to join the WAAPA dance faculty. As artistic director, he organizes the company, including interstate and international tours, while continuing to choreograph for LINK and WAAPA undergraduate dance seasons. Michael has described his creative process as highly shaped intuition where being receptive to the input of his dancers is essential to his dance making. His current WAAPA teaching responsibilities include classes in contemporary technique, composition and improvisation.

Outside In
LINK Dance Company
12th, 13th, 14th Oct, 7:30pm & Sat 15 Oct, 2pm
Dolphin Theatre, UWA, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley
Tickets $23 Full, $18 Concession/Friends
Book through waapa.ecu.edu.au

Filed under WA Featured Artist

Help The Duck House get Arielle off the Fridge!

Posted by Morgan Leek, October 7th, 2011

Want to come to the Crowdfunding VIP Night performance of They ran ‘til they stopped?

Help The Duck House jump the last hurdle for their fantastic new performance by visiting theduckhouse.pozible.com

In addition to special ticket packages, secret gifts and shout outs on facebook, they will reward every supporter as a Premiere Seat Sponsor and put your name on a seat at the theatre for every performance of the premiere season.

Check out this promo for their Pozible campaign!