My practice before working each day has transitioned from writing and yoga on the beach to surfing in the sea. I’ve graduated quickly from standing up to being able to turn and gather more momentum. I hope I’ve time to practice trying to catch them myself, without the holding hands of the instructor guiding my board and heart beat before take off. After each journey from sea to sand, I return to sea diligently to try again. On one occasion, the waves wouldn’t let me back. They had had the time to form wide, huge, heavy and in succession. Each one pounded down and pulled my limbs back, ankle entangled in plastic rope….
…Where are you seal pup? When will you surface again to watch with curious brown eyes, the failing and falling of foreigners in the sea?
We played a game with rules tonight and it was fun. It was so satisfying. We took a very long time to work out how to play it and then a longer time working out what all the cards meant in relation to each other. But eventually, we were playing. And, as such, enjoying the company of each other and all the individualities that came out.
An extra team member arrived recently from Kosovo which has been really good. A fresh perspective at this stage feels very welcome. Florent has often reminded the group that without the audience a lot of the ideas for the show can’t be tested properly. Being reminded of this seems to have given a bit of space to the process in general.
On the run up to the performances I worked mainly with the other performers, both on their solos and in our duos. After workshopping Tehanis’ solo piece with her, we talked about how important it is to find the game in what you do and how this can both influence the performance but also the devising process. With this in mind, we reworked the intro so it was more playful and interesting. We often talked about how each part of the journey was almost like a miniature show in itself and how each of them could be elaborated on into full performance pieces. In this way, it often fell to us to make sense of all these elements which we were putting the audience through. This was both fun and overwhelming at times.
I really like what Tehani, Jagath and Arun have brought to the piece as a whole and I’m glad there is more of a clear performance element to the work alongside the more visual elements. During the performances, it was great to see how the audience connected with each element of the journey.
A welcome moment came when Neil proposed some very simple but binding text to repeat at the middle and end of the piece. “These are our homes, these are our people, this is our community, this is our life!” I thought it worked really well and helped guide the intention for the piece.
It’s been an exciting and challenging project in many ways. It’s often felt like being caught up in waves, each one unique, one after the other. It’s been like a dancing mess with things happening all at once, upside down and back to front. It’s been a lesson in time management and how to continue working outwith set hours of the day to debrief and continue to work on ideas. I have really enjoyed working with everyone and I’ve relished being here again. Thank you everyone for your good energy, love and patience.
For surfing in Sri Lanka, I recommend Hippie Surf School