By Anna Croxson, Movement Director.
Delighted to be on board to lead explorations in to space, proximity, texture and rhythm in the physical world of our characters and their environments; as Movement Director for MATCH it’s my job to ask questions, like, ‘ how can the physical life of the show help to tell our story? what can we create physically, and visually, to carry the story forwards? And, ‘how do the characters move and exist within their environments? Today, with the cast, Director and Designer, together, we became inventors and sculptors using our bodies, lampshades, rope, newspaper….and much more!
How can we show that we’re abseiling on a rainy day, or riding upon high winds in a hot air-balloon, with a few props, movement and our body? By offering a ‘suggestion’ of these objects and activities. How does the body move? What are the shapes that these activities create? representing inherent rhythms, sounds and movements, and by leaving enough room for the imaginations of the audience to fill in the gaps. I think about this process as 'working and seeing in 'negative', show the lightest part, or the darkest part’ and the audiences’ imaginations will do the rest.
Stripping back any superfluous material, both in the character’s movements and in the interactions between movement, props and set, was key to finding and maintaining the authenticity of the character’s sensibilities and physicality, and for telling the story in the most truthful way possible.
What is the language of movement within the show? Are we ‘dancing’?, ‘clowning'’? with a multitude of movement ‘styles’ to choose from, it’s been an exciting process with the company to identify a clear movement language. Choreographing 'steps' would transport us to a different place, and take us outside of the characters make-believe world. After all, do children create and play using perfectly choreographed movements? A few clunky steps seemingly unwittingly created by one character, mimicked in admiration by the other, as a twinkle in the eyes is exchanged, confirms the friendship and play between our two ‘MATCH’ characters.
It’s a lot about making offers at this stage of our rehearsal process, suggesting ways of exploring an idea, and playing with things, there are no mistakes here, just opportunities to discover. Generosity with ideas and openness to experimentation are a must for the whole company at this stage, and within Dot and Ethel Theatre, it comes in bundles! Making my job a joy!
Grubby trousers, laughter, discoveries and play, it’s been a great day. Kettle on and biscuits out, and we’re ready to plan tomorrows’ adventures!