As I found myself sitting in the studio of in-discourse in Sweden, a curious mix of relaxation and fascination had begun to creep through me. I felt relaxed due to being in the atmosphere of an alien yet safe environment: Malmö, a fresh setting to create within and I felt fascinated at my own body, and how much power seemed to lay within it. As the youngest member of SYD Company I'm often looking to the more experienced dancers to show me how to utilise this power and during our magical time in Sweden I felt this stronger than ever.
We started off each day with a class taught by varying guest teachers and the legendary Lee Smikle himself, I felt fresh portions of potential and movement being unlocked within my body each day. Potential and movement that I never knew existed before now. This wonderful rebirth-like feeling was not only the perfect way to start each day but the perfect way to prepare for the creativity ahead. After waving goodbye to the excellent young Swedish dancers that joined us for morning class, we moved on to further weave movements into and structure our piece based on the tale of Hansel and Gretel.
One of the main things in this process we were focusing on was the characters we were embodying in the piece, and how we could successfully convey them to an audience. I must say that I am extremely glad to have this piece as my first true SYD performance as it is not the kind of dance and performance I've done before meaning there were endless new areas of exploration to be found within my own and others movement.
My character is the spirit of a dead child reborn vaguely within the form of a hummingbird, alongside my character is a spirit within a pigeon, portrayed by Dylan Canton. This quirky pair have the role of misleading and tricking Hansel and Gretel in their journey through the woods, carrying out the bidding of the evil witch. I instantly found myself at a mental barrier when trying to translate the characteristics of such an odd thing into my own body, the first day was slow, but as the days passed It became slightly clearer how I could push further into my portrayal of this character. The idea of these two birds being the slightly goofy, comedic, evil sidekicks, eventually became one of the main things I had to think about . Me and Dylan found ourselves trying to use the tiniest and subtlest movements to create something that would make an audience possibly laugh. It seemed almost impossible, but we got there in the end. I have always found making people laugh the most satisfying feeling, and I have to say that when we got to the point of sharing our duet to the public and I could feel them sniggering, it felt bloody good.