Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with some children from Hillside Primary School in Ipswich. This was the first of many workshops I will be delivering to schools who bring classes to see the show.
What’s perhaps unique about our workshops is that its me, one of the directors, running them and so it gives children and their teachers the chance to work as we work as a company to devise and choreograph ‘The Forest’.
I took the class through a high energy warm up, we played some games to give me the chance to get to know them and to allow us to work together for the hour and we tried out some of the exercises we use as a company to focus the performers on the job of making a piece. I was able to give them feedback as we played, with the aim of encouraging them to improve their ability to work together, to focus their energies and to give their full attention to everyone in the group.
We tried out one of the light hearted sections of the show working with balance and rising and falling, using the music from the show to help them, and then I revealed the props!! One of my favourite parts of The Forest involves some very clever moves using sticks which can look a bit like magic if you haven’t tried it for yourself, so we did!
I was so impressed by this group’s ability to be playful whilst staying focused and they were all able to work both technically and creatively to produce some unique combinations of movement with their partner. Now when they see the show for themselves they can say “I can do that”! and maybe we’ll see some of their choreography creeping into the show at some point in the future…