By Liz Wood, Head of Dance
Block 3 and 4 Dance students took part in a two-day workshop with choreographer and director of Chhaya Collective, Kay Crook. Kay worked very intensely with the dancers, giving them the experience of what it might feel like to be in a professional dance company and the students rose to the challenge. They were then fortunate enough to perform the piece they had learned and created as part of the curtain raiser for Chhaya Collective’s performance in the Theatre last week. Here are some comments from the students who took part.
By Phoebe Land, Block 3
This was such an interesting experience because we were introduced to lots of different styles of movement. In the first day we learnt the first phrase, which was choreographed around animals, and this was especially interesting for me, as I haven’t done a lot of proper dances with a storyline. Kay mixed the Block 4s with the Block 3s to create individual duets, with different parts of the music. Kay made sure everyone was happy with the movements and showed us how to execute them to make us look professional. Then on the second day, we learnt the next phrase which was the opening movement. This involved two different hand gestures, which were later used again in the Bharatanatyam by me, Biba, and Annabel. This was so fun, and everyone really enjoyed it!
By Milly Trench, Block 4
Kay worked very well with us to create the curtain raiser for us to perform. We started off by doing an intense warm up which was a great taster on their style and how we were going to be dancing for the next two days. I thought this was great because it allowed us to warm up how the professional dancers do and experience a higher level of intensity. We were taught the movement but were given sections to work creatively in groups to add to the overall performance. We were also asked to choreograph duets with an animalistic style and a connection with your partner.
By Biba Hardy, Block 4
Throughout the workshop we were given different creative tasks where we were able to use our own ideas in sections of the dance. One task that we were given was to make a duet – we were put into pairs and each pair was shown a video of other dancers doing a duet to gain inspiration from their piece KHAOS. Each one was slightly different and had different techniques that were used in the duets. None of them were the same, but all of them had some things in common, for example they were all quite animalistic and used a lot of eye contact between the two dancers. Once each pair had watched the dance that their duet would be inspired by, we all had some time to think of new moves and ideas, while also incorporating some of the moves from the sections of the dance that everyone had been taught in unison. Each pair had a section in the dance to perform their duet one at a time, so that everyone’s ideas could be seen.
By Sophie Lee, Block 3
Kay taught us about a side of dance I haven’t come across before. She lived in India for a while, so she taught us some dance moves from Indian culture. The Indian style she focused us on was Bharatanatyam and she taught us the unique hand movements. There were two main phrases she taught us and they were in her own style. She focused in on specific movements, making sure we all were making them very sharp and clean. She split us into two lines and showed us how to effectively be in sync with our line but also mirror the line opposite. By letting us choreograph a duet after a day of working with her, we found that we were all heavily influenced by the new dance moves we were introduced to, and with Kay’s help we made the duets in a different style than we normally would.