A last minute addition to my group schedule (and with a bumpy beginning to the sessions), I welcome Hillfields Youth Centre into the mix!
But they were totally worth the wait; three phenomenal lads with an abundance of energy and tricks up their sleeves! I'm excited to see what the lads produce in the sessions to follow - they already have the beginnings of an impressive section and have nailed the unison, in just one session!
The lads from Wyken Croft school introduce themselves and tell us what they think of Boys Dancing, in a nutshell:
First week of the new year back for the Boys Dancing 2013-2014 complete!
Just over a month left until the performance of 'Artful Dodgers' at Warwick Arts Centre and the week has been spent revisiting movement devised and learnt before the festive break - muscle and brain memory put to the test!
On the whole, material has been well remembered with only a few checks of the video footage needed. The boys are looking strong after a restful break and have an eager approach to the sessions. The 'Sugar Is Sweeter' section is looking .... well, sweet!
"If you were in here, you'd be having fun right now..."
Some of the lads from Holbrook Primary School in Coventry tell us what they're enjoying about being part of Boys Dancing, and show us some of their new moves...
Today was the last sessions of the year for both President Kennedy & Ernesford Grange YC. With help from Boys Dancing apprentice Thato, the President Kennedy boys polished the unison material devised by Dave & Mark in preparation for the mass unison section of the show in February. Fingers crossed all the details are retained over the Christmas break!
Ernesford Grange also spent a bit of their session recapping the unison but concentrated mainly on fine tuning their ‘Sugar Is Sweeter’ material with both myself and apprentice Cletus. The work is looking great with some promising duets beginning to surface with intricate contact work thrown in for good measure! Today was the first test run of trying the duets dropping out of a constantly moving line of boys - it works and the lads have worked hard! Well ahead of schedule - so to the drawing board to choose another artistic idea for the group to try in the New Year...
Both Clare from Warwick Arts Centre and Fiona from all things Boys Dancing digital visited the session at Ernesford today - and both left singing the boys praises after recording some VoxPops!
All in all - two great last sessions of 2013! Roll on 2014...
“The choreographer's approach as a man to teaching the boys dance was completely different. He let them be boys. I saw boys in a different light. He showed me how different a creative man can be with boys: what an importantly different approach that is.”
Primary School Headteacher
Since the beginning of October 2013 I have been delivering sessions in five schools across the Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire (CSW) strand of Boys Dancing 2013-14. The theme for this year's project is 'avoidance' and the beginning of the year witnessed the Shropshire strand showcase their work ‘Manitou’ in a large scale outdoor performance on a working farm.
The artistic lead in CSW is Dave McKenna who is overseeing twenty groups! Dave’s concept will take shape at the beginning of February 2014, culminating in a large indoor performance at the Butterworth Hall at Warwick Arts Centre. All twenty groups are well underway with their sessions with the artistic team - each working on their own individual section for the performance as well as learning some unison material which all the boys will perform!
My groups have been busy devising material for their dedicated section entitled ‘Sugar is Sweeter’. Drawing from choreographic tasks all the boys are creating material which will showcase their skills. I don’t want to give too much away but they all have a prop to contend with and the big challenge of walking shoulder to shoulder in a straight line (at the same pace) across the entire length of the Butterworth Hall!
Recently I have been joined by apprentices Thato & Cletus who are assisting in Cardinal Wiseman, President Kennedy and Ernesford Grange YC. It is the first year I have been fortunate enough to have apprentices and their skills have been utilised! Both have helped deliver the unison material which will be performed en masse in February!
Composer Ashley Brown’s music has recently been introduced to the groups - adding another layer to the work and the boys are loving the cutting edge mixes!
Stay tuned for further updates about the developments of ‘Artful Dodgers’!