Yes, this may look like a pretty wild party, but is in fact an action shot of our first London workshop for HerStory: The Catchpole Chronicles. Around 20 people joined us for a day’s singing, dancing and devising at the Vestry Hall, St Gabriel’s Hall, in Pimlico. We were working on musical and movement ideas for a pub scene from the opera.
The scene, set to a traditional folk/drinking song, depicts local residents keeping the revenue man occupied at the bar whilst smugglers transfer the loot from their boat to a safe hiding place. Keeping representatives of the law distracted so the community could benefit from cut-price goods was a common practice in the late 18th century.
Our devising process encourages the company to play with ideas and themes during improvisational tasks, which are then combined in choreographic sequences by our dance artists, Danielle and Sarah. Today we used plastic glasses and cups as props to add to the ambience, and saw celebrations, bar fights and very merry behaviour as well as some more conceptual movement development.