Thursday, 2 April 2009

memories already

Most frequently occuring post-show forum comment
"I got this job becasue they were looking for the larger woman"- Julian Crotti

Technical Highlights
Anton dancing in the dark, no film art on window reveal

Reader of most books
Fenn and Sol

Most Consumed Beverages
Scotch, red bull, pear cider, gin, water

Most Purchased Clothing
Superdry jackets

Most Nicknamed Individual
Bling Bling Ryan

Best dance move
"Swizzle Stick" -Julian Crotti
"Wounded Lover" -Tash James

Location of most ridiculous party
High Wycombe

Rudest Moment
Ms. X requesting over the cans that the prompt side mech get removed from the stage, without realising he was actually listening at the time

Best contact improv party

Favorite Hotel
Swindon Travelodge (ahemm)

Coolest Nationality
New Zealand/ Australia tie

Coolest Sexuality

Best Game
Bus trivia, hackey sack, hangman
race for heater switch and do a pole dance (Creator- Julian, Most Outrageous Win- Paul)

Best Pub
Truro, The Rising Sun: with the hot guys and pool comp and loosely tongued dog and darts and jukebox and Amelia floor dancing
Oxford, The Turf tavern: with historical imprints of Burton and Taylor and Clinton, and current time impactful conversations with the social entreprenuers' and doco makers 

Most Excessive Exercise
Craig, Lisa and Anton for stair running and swimming

Most Extreme Training  Injury
Josh for blood nose running in Nottingham snow

Greatest In-house Chef
Craig- lasagne
Kristina- electric frypan in suitcase

Best House Crew
Nottingham (they were cool- Tash)

Best guest teacher
Theo Clinkard

Best in-house party
Craig Bary

Best dinner party
Theo and Ben's, Brighton

Best food poisoning of your collegues
Chan and McQueen

Best Emotional Gathering
Julian's room in Truro

Most inspirational in-house Audio
Dennis, QEH

Most popular person
Tash James

Most missed fiances
Gavin and Tim

Word which best describes the tour

Feeling Most Expressed on the tour

Most Longed After Human

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Thursday, 12 March 2009

energy, guys

London was huge, for many reasons. I don't really know how to approach writing about it. There are so many people who worked so hard to present our show there (and in every venue) and it truely was a dream of Tanja's to bring a work to Queen Elizabeth Hall. It felt wonderful to present the piece, but it's very rough to do it without her physical presence. Her nephews and neice, Luc, Merlin and Alina bought flowers to us onstage. It was the first time I had seen them since last October, they are so marvellous, I could not have been more touched than seeing their gorgeous faces appear out of the auditorium darkness. Hanging out with Kurt, Gerlinde, Boris and Adeline is rare and special time for us dancers. Patrick and Astrid were missed at our party! The whole weekend was just so exhilarating. I am on an emotional 'come down'. Today I just needed to hide in my room. Luckily there is a gorgeous view out the window.

Here is a happy crew, on way to Truro. Lisa, Sol, Bryan, Paul, Anton, Kris. Man my friends are hot.

This week we had our brilliant, talented friend Bryan Mason join us on tour. He and partner Sophie Hyde (closer productions) are making a documentary about Tanja. They worked with her, Sol and lots of our dance collegues extensively and I feel really safe about them taking on this subject. I said to Bryan I would not have let anyone else follow me with a camera and ask me questions about Tanja, and I meant it. They are absolutly terrific film-makers, but from a personal point of view I know they love her and us, which is important to me. They will make the documentary a complex, fascinating and beautiful piece and I think their relatedness to the subject will be a benefit rather than a distortion on the subject. 

Here she is then- the beautiful Tash, our ever diligent and delightfully light-hearted Production Manager, on as bus journey into the Shire.

Our Stage Manager, Blair has eluded me so far. I will stalk him and capture an image so you know who we are endlessly thanking all our working hours. I mean, the man has to wash our sweaty costumes for goodness sakes- obviously a medal is deserving.

I'm checking out to watch 'Grizzly Man' with some of the peeps in the hotel lounge.


Monday, 9 March 2009

The Wild Bull and Dance Breakthroughs

The Wild Bull and Dance Breakthroughs

Really it has felt like the reason we came here
Or the most important reason
To take Tanja's work to a world capitol and hold it up
With all the respect and awe we have for it
And all the sweat and tears we have put in it
For the world to see.

Sometimes I wonder
How something like this actually gets accomplished
For the past two months I have been wondering how we were ever going to do justice to the work under such pressure
And certainly when the time comes the energy in the air is electric
On our opening night my heart started to race and I just knew that it wouldn't stop until the show was complete.

And how was it done ?
And how did we do ?

Ultimately I think all our perseverance and hard work paid off
I think the unquestionable ability of all the artistic team kicked in
I think the strength of the group as a whole lifted and supported us all (and continues to do so)
And I think we did it for the grace and spirit and pure golden creative energy goodness that was and continues to be our departed friend and one time young master, Tanja.
Someone asked Pauli what the show was like on Saturday and he said "A Wild Bull"
We all held on for our life
And gave it all the life we had
And it delivered us
And delivered for the audience one helluva ride

The next night we were ready
And out there
And incredibly calm
If the day before was all nervous energy
Sunday was a grounded focusness
So much so that in the preset of the show
The bit of loosely structured meandering we do as the audience comes in
The audience shut themselves up
eight hundred people collectively resolved to silence themselves a full two minutes before the show started in earnest
This has never happened before
And that focus and clarity that was apparent early on carried throughout the show
One of the most complete and aware performance experiences in my humble life
And lovely to be sharing it with friends and family and passers by
Too tremendous
And a bit of a dance breakthrough for more than one of us

So it was done
And the tour and world feels different now that we are on the other side of the mountain
What is left is to continue to be dedicated to the work
And to enjoy the ride and the time we have with each other in this crazy life

But what a mountain
And on the Sunday night
It felt like we got to the top
And the struggle ceased
And the view was

Clear and bright
And astonishing

Honourable mention as always
To Tash and Blair who jumped in a cab for three hours immediately after the show and started at the next venue.
Someone get those guys a fancy dress and a function at the southbank centre quick smart
Cause they deserve it with a vengeance
For the perseverance, artistry and humour with which they approach each and every task.

Big Love

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Today we arrive in London and ship ourselves off to the physio for upkeep that is a necessity when you are putting such high demands on your body. Pauli has recommended a friend of his and sure enough he works wonders. Giving us just the lift we need on this middle and important stop here in the big smoke. Someone said on the bus today that we have been all referring to this time since rehearsals began. When we are in London ...... When we get to London we must remember to.........
And here we are.
It does feel different to any other time that I have been here.
Maybe it is because we have work to do.
Today in the taxi to the master physio we drove passed Trafalgar Square , Picadilly Circus and along Oxford Street and I thought "Well that's about as touristy as I'm going to get on this trip"
And I love it.
Tourism is like a rash that the western world spreads where ever it feels safe to tread.
The useless endless stream of half-wits that gather at
The Statue of Liberty
The Eifel Tower
Big Ben
The Golden Gate Bridge
The Sydney Opera House
such a futile pursuit , Tourism
With nothing offered to the visited culture but the dollar and the increasing desire for the dollar.
But to be working
To be showing
To be offering something up to this huge endless sea of city.
Feels great.
Makes me feel grounded (thanks Fabi)
Connected to this mad place and our senseless and sensational cullture.
It helps that I believe in the work.
That always helps.
And too, I believe, that the practise of dance is so inherantly physical.
The sheer force and effort and sweat that drives each day and performace
Is a tangable thing
As a dancer you are really pushing the space
Pushing the focus
And increasing in your ability to do so each day.(Thanks Fabi)
You are working
Like in a coal mine
Driving your body ever on
But asking it for grace as you do it
Construction work with a delicate asthetic
But encouraging growth in your muscles and psyche along the way
When to tense
What muslce to relax
And how to get the job done.

Big Crazy Full of Woder in London
xx Hopen

ps. Had some delicous glory this evening ;)