Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The first Steve Knight Memorial Workshop, April 20th 2015

On April 20th we had our first workshop in memory of Steve Knight. The workshop was led by Joêl Daniel, a dancer and choreographer. Thanks to everyone who donated money to the Memorial Workshop Fund, we nearly have enough for four other workshops in Steve's memory.

We would also like to thank, as always, Bristol Old Vic for letting us use the Clore Studio for this workshop.

This felt like a great workshop to do in memory of Steve because it was all about movement, which felt like a celebration of what Steve loved doing with Firebird: dancing and making strong movements on stage. 

Joel working with us in the Clore Studio at Bristol Old Vic with the shoaling exercise

Joêl got us working in lots of different ways: we looked at how we moved together, as a group. This was called shoaling with different people taking the lead and the rest of us following. We walked together, using different movements, small movements to a rhythm, in a sequence, and keeping pace as a group.

Joêl helped us to explore a canon of repeated movements, clapping/rhythms to help us keep to a pace and making journeys together: fast and slow.

We worked on different levels and from chairs as well; we explored positioning on stage and focus.

We all liked working with Joêl and would like to work with him again on our new work. We liked the warm up he gave us and the way he explained things. He included everyone in the workshop, getting us to move one at a time and then altogether.

We liked the fact that Joêl asked us about Steve; we told him about Steve's shadow dance from The Nine Lessons Of Caliban and he asked us about Steve's movements and got us to try to remember them by doing them.

We liked the way he got us to move towards different fixed points in the rehearsal room.

There were difficult bits too - it was difficult to count and make up different moves that we had to remember... remembering moves was hard.

We had never really done a workshop like this before and it was a great thing to do - it will help us to look at how we move on stage. We would like to work with Joêl again. We would also like to see him dance when he next performs in Bristol. In the meantime, we are excited to receive a copy of White Caps on DVD from Joêl, a performance by the Dance Company that he used to work with called Champloo. We will be watching this next week and finally, Joêl's website goes live next week, it is: www.joeldaniel.co.uk