What a few weeks! Last month Exim were back on the road with 2 tour dates, one in Exeter and one in St Austell.
On Monday 20th February, we performed at Exeter Phoenix Theatre. I arrived with the dancers at lunchtime, and we settled into the space, found our dressing room and all had lunch together in the theatre cafe. As sometimes there can be a gap between tour dates, it’s really lovely to have a sit down catch up with the whole touring team.
After that the dancers went straight into rehearsals, and I ventured out to find fresh flowers and herbs to use at that evening’s performance (as much as I would like to suggest I was venturing through picturesque, fragrant gardens… The reality was nipping to the Sainsbury’s round the corner!).
Back at the theatre, rehearsals were well underway. Throughout the tour, Etch has grown and evolved, and one of the most important things for the company dancers to do, especially after a long break over the new year, was to get back to grips with the piece. The day before, the company dancers had a rehearsal at Plymouth University with Choreographer, Adam Benjamin.
This meant that the work was relatively fresh in the mind, however some changes were made to some of the more movement heavy sections, where lifts and contact work was developed from the original choreography, so it was interesting watching the dancers get to grips with the new material in a performance setting.
After the dancers rehearsal it was time for the tech run through. It had been a bit of the break from the piece for me on sound too, so was a little nerve wracking deciphering my cue sheet and remembering when and what was needed, however luckily it all came back as if it was movement memory, and a dance in itself!
After the company, it was the turn of Exeter Youth Dance Company to take the stage for their technical rehearsal. EYDC performed a curtain raiser before our performance of Etch. They were massively talented dancers and a joy to watch!
This performance was our second performance in Exeter, and it was wonderful to see such a busy audience of both new and familiar faces, and we also had a few school groups in attendance which was wonderful.
The performance was followed by a Q&A about the piece where we received some wonderful feedback.
“Beautiful, touching and engaging something that has left me thinking both about this piece and my own memories.”
“I loved how sound was used to make another experience use of voices and the sound in heathers costume.”
The following Thursday 23rd February we were up bright and early and on our way to St Austell, to work with students from Cornwall College to create a curtain raiser performance for that evening. Dancers Laura, Heather and Lucy were in the studio working with the students from 9am-1pm, exploring different creative tasks and repertoire used in Etch. The talented students created a performance ready work in this time, which required great dedication and focus which was to be commended.
After the workshop finished the dancers went through their movement and technical rehearsals ready for the evenings performance. St Austell was a special performance for the dancers as, as well as having many local dance groups in the audience, there was a lot of friends and family, which made the work extra personal, especially when recounting personal memories.
Both shows went wonderfully, and it was great to be back on the road again with Etch! Excitingly, our next tour date will be on Exim’s home ground in Plymouth! We also have another 3 tour dates approaching so make sure you catch us at your nearest venue.
Barbican Theatre Plymouth
Date: 24th March 2017
Performance Time: 7pm- 8:30pm
The Poly | Falmouth Arts Centre
Date: 28th April 2017
Performance Time: 7:30pm-8:30pm
Box office: http://thepoly.org/whats-on
The House Plymouth
Date: 14th June 2017
Performance Time: 7:30pm -8:30pm
Box office: https://peninsula-arts.cloudvenue.co.uk/basket
Fringe Theatre Fest 17
Date: 29th June – 2 July
Performance Times: TBC
Exim Touring, Education and Outreach Manager