AFTERMATH BLOG 2018

October 2018

Press

"Eleanor Sikorski and Charlotte Maclean weave patterns of wit and absurdity in Eva Recacha’s quietly radical show".Lindsey Winship, The Guardian



















Full review here


Ready to go at Sadler's Wells!




Preview at Axis Arts Centre and Out reach with MMU students.
We had a fantastic week hosted by MMU and Axis Arts Centre in Crewe. The students worked really hard and we made a piece that was shown on the preview night of Aftermath. They all came to see Aftermath afterwards and their response was very exciting. When I work out how to publish a sound file here.... you'll be able to hear them talk about the work!

We did lots of waiting in the theatre...as you do o production week...
We had late dinners in the theatre....as you do on production week...
and we missed Kasper and sent him a video.






















Oh! and we decided on a colour of nail polish for Ellie!



My friend Amy Voris came to see the preview and here is what she had to say about it:

"Since I am an admirer and devotee of finely crafted movement, I already knew I would like the work :)  But additionally last night I loved the strange atmosphere, bizarre detail and cycles of absurd activity.  I loved the ongoing rhythmical play and epic density.  I also loved the sense of excess and of restraint at the same time.  

While watching, I was thinking occassionally of the young women I teach (who are mainly in their twenties).  I wonder how they perceive their predicaments."


Rehearsal week at Sadler's Wells. 
And the dramaturg came. Simon Ellis came. And it was ok. I didn't suffer as much as I thought I would. I didn't loose a limb in the process. And I was left with the ability to look at things fresh (or fresher) again. Such a good idea to bring Simon in! I am feeling really empowered by his visit, his comments, and I feel like I have time and knowledge to steer the work. Let's hope the days are enough for all the work left to do that I now can see with more clarity.

Eva Martinez also came today, and Robyn Cabaret, and it was a joy to have people in the studio and talk about the work. Jackie (our Lighting designer) came yesterday and my friend and fellow dance artist Kesha came too. We have been cherishing these visits and what they have done to us. So interesting to see how different performers perform when there are people to perform to (not just my self, my usual-mundane-everyday-repetitive-sonotexcitingattimestobehonest-self).

More things that happened this week:
Sound really steeped into the work now. Alberto and I are trying to share the space. We had a really intense talk today. So intense, I felt like when I was preparing for exams at university and my brain would feel like shutting down under the overload of information. Very productive conversation we've had though. A different place we find ourselves in this time around. So used to share the studio from day one, but in this occasion having been without Alberto for so long. A real challenge is in it for us, and all the more interesting for it is a new challenge. I am very excited! And I know Alberto has 'magic', so although a little shaken by the effort of having to meet him somewhere I am no longer, I know he'll soon be ahead of me showing me the way!

September 2018


New Photos by Camilla Greenwell
Camilla came on a rather sunny day. We took pictures in the studio. We took pictures in the park. We laughed. We had coffee. We had lunch (she didn't as she was busy downloading images). We now have a poster image for Sadler's Wells and some very nice pictures that you may see here :)






Session for small children and their carers at Centre 151
I led a dance session for a really numerous and excited group of very young children and their carers at Centre 151 during their Autumn Celebration Day last Saturday. It was really great. So great we over run the session schedule. My two children came along and really enjoyed themselves. We had Vietnamese Spring Rolls and noodles afterwards and made paper lanterns before seeing a performance and a puppet show. What a day!


Last days at Centre 151
We have a draft for the show. Something I treasure but that I need to scrutinise now and either conserve or pull apart, or a bit of both. Painful prospect nevertheless. The moment has arrived to consider who else might watch? Not just me, with my knowledge, my references, my experiences to assist me in deciphering the work, but an-other. The other. Always difficult or uncomfortable other.

Making space for the dramaturg...preparing my self for a cold shower. Reminding my self that after the cold shower an inner heat is felt that warms your soul.

Lewys Holt came to see us. Twice. That was nice as we only expected him to come once.  He asked some questions and gave some impressions. I had a really nice chat (or should I say monologue) outdoors in the sun with Lewys. I sometimes wish I spoke less and listened more, but all in all I have a very nice memory of a big nice smile, Lewys smile.


Back to rehearsals. This week we are at Centre 151
Do you remember that brilliant idea I had last week? Well, if you do, let me know because I have forgotten.


Other things we've been busy with...

Color testing!


Costume testing!


Hair Testing!



Toilet roll testing!






































Balance testing!


and more filming!


Count Down...

Time has started compressing, or feeling like it might begin to run faster than one would wish it to. I use my fingers to count the weeks we have left till the preview, then the weeks we have left till the premiere, and it doesn't feel like there are too many fingers....  (hum).

Since time is of the essence, I now spend my breakfast, lunch and dinner trying to work things out. I am eating.  I am silent. I am mostly not bothered by anybody...  This morning at breakfast I had a brilliant idea whilst watching the viral video clip that Lotta has made for us. See it here :) I won't be telling you the brilliant idea as it would spoil things for you when you come, but please feel free to try and guess! And then let me know if you got it right!



The clip has been quite a thing! I never had so many views on FaceBook (we are not talking hundreds, but thousands now). I am about to change my opinion on 'creative content'.... maybe it is not so bad after all? Maybe it is useful, maybe it truly helps bringing people to see the actual stuff we are making. Maybe soon enough we can show our work at large venues where we get  2,000 plus views in only an hour. Maybe I am starting to tell my self the story of the milk woman, do you know the story of the milk woman? Everybody knows it where I am from, but then England is not where I am from, it is where I belong now, sightly different...

We resume rehearsals on Monday. I guess I will be asking myself questions about the space the performance creates. Whether we belong in it, or we are guests, and where the hell do we come from?. 

Next week more!




Away and thinking

In Madrid, enjoying the heat.


Thinking on the past few days, the past few weeks, on what lays ahead, and what's yet to be achieved.

We have had fun with absurd, almost silly stuff at times. 



We have had moments of joy.



We have had moments of glamour.




We have shared.




We have gotten ideas from very young people.



       

We have dreamed and invented and we have now done a third of the journey.

Time to reflect


and go back to the sources


Thanks to all who have made it so far. More to come!


  Week 3 is almost finished. One more day. A filming day with film and music maker, and creative director at Affair In Tokyo, Lotta Boman. Soon we will have bits for you to peak at of the making of Aftermath.

In the meantime, a moment in rehearsal from this week. Working on pointlessness and the mundane, as well as building bonding with your performing partner. Not to be missed.


What else did we do this week?

We did a lot of hair dancing.


We put together a first draft of the work... 1h20minutes... you won't be complaining about the work being too short when you come and see it! I promise not to go overboard and keep it succinct. I already have a good pair of scissors ready for week 5 before we preview in Manchester.

So far the work looks like:

Silence - stuff - silence - stuff - silence - stuff.... some more stuff.... end.

Exciting, isn't it? I guess you'll have to come and see it :)

Eleanor and Charlotte have been absolutely fantastic (as usual) and they have arrived at a strong understanding of each other. It is now great to watch them even when they disagree. There is always a nice surprise coming out in every run we do, as a sense of knowing what we are doing begins to grow in the space and the performers feel more rooted.

I taught ProClass at TripSpace. I had a great bunch of people coming along and we explored movement making in line with our rehearsal process. We also used some text in the final stretch of the class, giving the participants a real experience of some of the work we do in rehearsals.


August 2018


  Week 2 is almost to and end. Here the thoughts of these days.

This week we have fully dived into ... a world of possibilities! 

The concept of dramaturgy is now fully present. 
What are the materials? What themes do arise form those? Where do the narratives, if any, direct us towards? How do they sit next to each other? When do things get incomprehensible and overwhelming? When do they begin to distill refined material that one can look at and engage with? When does the world of the Aftermath crystallise in the particular way it has grown in our minds?

Questions, questions, questions. 

We have been doing some compositional work too, building sections with particular flavour and textures, and trying to get to the rhythm of the work; a rhythm that will constitute one of the pillars of this world. 

Get ready for Pro Class at Trip Space this coming week! 3rd to 6th of September.




  Week 1 is done. Here's the highlight!


Day 5
New notebook. Always a good omen. A short video coming soon!


Day 4

Charlotte has started speaking to the objects in the room.  Eleanor has started speaking to the walls in the room. 
We have done some weird dancing to weird phone alarm sounds.
Eva and Kasper have been working hard at floor marking. 
We have waited for our lunch for a long time.
Alberto has been waiting at home for the plumber also for a long time 
We have consumed our time for the day, and I have consumed my computer memory.  I have also finished my toucan-decorated notebook.
Time for reset. 

Day 3

We talked about the dancer’s journey in the process of making the work; the kind of information that might support having a sense of intention when moving, when doing, and how to feed or generate that information throughout the process.
We also did some improvisations, threw things at each other, got buried under a pile of paper and listened to some weird things. 

Day 2

A much more sensible day. 
Charlotte Mclean just arrived from Edinburgh performing with Pink Mama but she does not look tired (even if she meditates rather quietly for a long time over lunch time). 
We watch some Ted talks, a music video, and past footage from our R&D back in January at Trip Space. We draft a new scene that we still don't know if it'll make the final cut but we feel (I certainly do) satisfied. Ellie Sikorski improvises some text we all like and I now have the home work of transcribing it from the video into paper. 
Progress, productivity, moving on, moving ahead, vacation mood has definitely left us even though the sun is shining and our studio has a big glass wall and it definitely feels like summer is still very much at its peak. I can only hope for two or three days on a row like today and I will begin to feel like we are en route and I can keep on sleeping at night.


Day 1 of 67 days remaining till the premiere. @Bernie Grant Arts Centre

Ellie, Kasper and Eva meet on a rather hot day at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre. It is day one of the final stretch of rehearsals. Premiere is in 9 and a half weeks! Day one is a bit weird. Eva's still on vacation mood and her brains are still affected by the large amounts of sunshine and sea breeze she's had to endure over the last weeks. She even finds a sea shell on her pocket...
The conversation topics around the table are focused on the audience experience of the work ...  a work still to be made!
Palm trees seem to be relevant.


July 2018

Last bit of R&D. @WMS (supported by GD)

Greenwich Dance has closed down. We have been relocated to the Wayne McGregor Studios.
We are in a beautiful white room, kind of hanging in the air, like a bubble inside a bubble. I wonder where is the air coming in from, is there any air? or are we dead now? or dreaming?. The place feels unreal, oneiric almost, in a way that really fits the idea we have for the piece. We work very well here and produce a short extract of the work for promoters to come and see. Everything here is white, pristine, clinical. And the next question is... how do we create this white bubble in a black box with a meagre budget for set design ...? can we...? I can envision spending my holidays looking at the budget trying to figure out the impossible, but then... I feel like getting to this point has been almost an impossible task and HERE WE ARE! and we are here to stay and thrive (just saying) 💪
We meet with our former producer Lucy Glover at WMS, and with Freddy and Tim and friends. I like it here. Pity the week is over. 
Image taken at WMS



Classes for under fives and their carers. @Centre 151 in Haggerston and @BGAC in Haringey

This was fun. Chaotic. And I left my bag with all my props, music, and scores on the bus journey back home on the very first day!!! I was lucky enough to get my bag back by simply waiting for an hour at the bus stop opposite. The best spent hour of the year! Recovering all my gadgets and stuff felt like God/Lady Luck giving me a tap on the shoulder. Phew!
My friend Paula came with her baby. I remember Paula when she was a child running around in ballet class wit her arms stretched out like wings saying that dancing was boring and she much preferred flying. 
Being at Centre 151 felt like being at home. Pierre and Dam are so welcoming! And it led to a co-curation evening of dance at the Centre featuring some really cool performing by Aftermath's performer Eleanor Sikorski. I will also lead another under five's dance session in September at the Centre. Our outreach is growing and we are finding meaningful links with community spaces.  

I took my little one to the classes at BGAC. He loved them. And he flew.






Aftermath is a Sadler's Wells 20th Anniversary Commission

Eva Recacha is a Sadler’s Wells Summer University Artist

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Supported by South East Dance, DanceEast, TripSpace, Greenwich Dance, Centre 151, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and The Place through Choreodrome. In collaboration with the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Spanish Embassy in London. 


Credits:
Concept and Choreography: Eva Recacha
Performers: Charlotte Mclean, Eleanor Sikorski
Sound Artist: Alberto Ruiz Soler
Lighting Design: Jackie Shemesh
Design: KASPERSOPHIE
Costume Supervisor: Amy Jean Moore
Text: devised by the performers and choreographer.

Production Manager: Emma Wenlock-Bolt
Producer: Johnny O’Reilly