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Process

LEADING UP TO THE CREATION

 

CARTOON DEMO 

The thing I took away from our first ever demo was working with a deeper idea and meaning behind the act. This was the first time I had ever actually created an act completely on my own that had another layer to it. It felt good to be on stage and feel like I actually have something to say. Because the task was to choose a comic from a book and work from that onward, it was clear that I wanted to create my own story I could then relate to. I enjoyed the process of connecting my movement and presence on stage to something that wasn't that literal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a vision that I was the person inside the casket and it had just been my own funeral, and before I was buried I needed to do this one last thing which was get on the rope and perform my 'swan song'. My idea wasn't to have the audience follow my exact thought process, but rather to make their own story that could maybe be parallel to my own. 

The feedback I got from this demo was very positive and I think that it encouraged me to trust myself more in creative processes. I was enjoying myself so much during all the demo processes because it was challenging, but in a really good way.

CLASSICAL MUSIC DEMO 

As the main task with this demo was to learn to use music as the driving force in your movement, the way I started the process was to just put on the track in my earphones, go on the rope, and flow. From there I found tricks and sequences that worked well and found their way into the act. I think that is one of the biggest things I took away from the demo - learning to play with the nature and timing of my tricks. This was definitely a big help when I started creating my ending solo.

I made a decision to start the act from the top of the rope. The feedback I got was mostly questioning the beginning and what starting from high up on the rope entails. It means that the audience already has 20 seconds to create an image of you in their head and make assumptions. In an act, it's the first 5 seconds which are the most important, because that's when the spectators get their first impression. From this, I definitely learned how important the beginning is and what role it plays. 

TADAA DEMO 

One of the most fun demos to perform! I took this as an opportunity to flirt with the audience as much as possible and give some attitude. 

The song I chose was 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin. A very big song to fulfill as it is very known and very iconic. Now that I look back at it, I think that from this demo I got a little taste of what it's like to be on stage with a strong music pushing you. I didn't think about it much then, but now I realize that I must've really enjoyed that part of the number because the ending solo song was also of a similar nature.

The feedback was positive, constructive and encouraging. There was lot of talk about that exact thing - having the attitude and trying to own up to the sass of the Queen of Soul as a 19-year old girl. In my eyes the number was a big success because I feel like I learned so much about my own stage personality.

This act was also performed in Kaneli Kabaree, which further helped me develop the sassiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAP DEMO 

This demo was the first one I was unable to perform because of an injury. I had gotten to about the halfway point and then couldn't train anymore because there was a very inflamed muscle in my back. 

During the short creation for this demo, the map forced me to move on the ground more than I have in previous rope acts, which opened a new dimension of thinking for me.

QUARANTINE

 

When school closed down in March I was feeling confused, sad and annoyed. Nevertheless I still feel that the time off was valuable and taught me a lesson I wouldn't otherwise have learned. 

Because there was so much free time it helped me process what I was actually doing and why I was doing it, and it also reminded me how much I want to perform and do circus. 

DURING CREATION

FIRST INSPIRATION 

Right from the beginning of the year I was on a very good path with my number, both artistically and technically. I felt good about the ideas, movements, feelings and visuals I wanted to portray on stage. All the potential was there and what it needed was the repetition and the practice. The freedom of being able to create any type of act I wanted gave me a lot of joy and I also found our Oma Impro lessons even more valuable during this phase.

A few days before the demo day, I injured my thumb and couldn't perform my number. This was a very hard hit because I felt like I had so much I wanted to show, but I was simply unable to do it. Then again, I had to remind myself that this was just a demo and there would be more time and opportunities to present my ideas to an audience.

The first draft of the number already had the general structure in place. I had made most of the choreography at this point, and from there the upcoming work included adding details, cleaning up sequences, polishing the energy on the floor. 

Because I couldn't train rope for 5 weeks, the concept of this act stayed simmering in my mind. At the time, not being able to work on my stuff was a total pain in the ass, but looking back at it it was probably good to have some time to let it sit for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PASTICHE

This demo happened while I was still injured. Nevertheless I still wanted to participate and work on something so I asked my teachers to give me some kind of act I could mimic that didn't involve too much thumbs. I was expecting to receive a clowning act of some sorts, but ended up with quite the opposite. After watching the rope manipulation and juggling act I had to mimic, I felt quite annoyed because I'm not the biggest fan of juggling even though I have done some in the past. Still, I started trying out some stuff from the video and soon it became quite interesting. It was strange because it was like a hate-love relationship. I enjoyed researching and practicing with the rope and the ball because it was like a blank page of completely new technique, and it was fun. On the other hand, I was getting extremely frustrated because I was watching everyone else do their own thing and I couldn't do mine.  Also object manipulation needs a lot of patience which was hard to find at times. 

I probably learned more from this demo than I did from any other demo, which is strange because it wasn't even my discipline. I discovered new things about my own character and abilities and the way you just have to keep going when stuff gets hard.

The feedback was so excitingly positive and that made me so happy because I really had been working hard and doing my best. I will definitely carry this demo with me as something that taught me a lot.

 

 

SOMETHING NEW

 

This was the first time I was showing my act concept to an audience that wasn't two people during Oma class. It was very exciting to me and I was so nervous because it meant so much.

It was before this demo that I first edited 'Machine Gun' to the beginning of the number. Then, after showing it to my teacher, he suggested I try making the beginning longer by leaving in the part of the song where Jimi mimics a machine gun with his guitar. That ended up making all the difference in the feeling and energy of the beginning of the act, and I'm so happy it did.

There was one trick in the act that I was constantly changing out for new ones. In the first version I had a Pop-Up Fake Salto in the end, but then quickly realized that I didn't feel completely comfortable doing it because of being tired in the end of the number and not having a mat. I tried out different smaller drops and sequences until I found the one I stuck with until the end.

In the demo day I was so nervous and felt so much pressure from myself to do a good job. On stage I was rushing a lot and not taking time to breathe.

The feedback was intense. It was harsh and honest and straightforward, but also constructive. I am so happy that the teachers weren't afraid to give me some real feedback because that's the only way to move forward and make your work better. A lot of it was focused on living up to the topic I'm trying to portray, because that's not something you can do half-heartedly. I had to commit to knowing why was there and what I was doing on stage. I was humbled by the feedback session and was ready to get to training.

PRE JURY

I didn't change much about the act before the Pre Jury, I was more focused on trying to find the right energy and state of mind to go on stage with. I tried to be more calm and take my time while still keeping the intense hunger-like emotion. I got a little bit closer to the end goal but it was still not yet what I wanted it to be.

Also, having someone ask you questions about what you just performed RIGHT after finishing your act was a new experience. I found it nice and I enjoyed hearing how the first graders saw my act from their perspectives.

JURY

For me the jury was a happy experience! Having professionals give you their honest feedback and thoughts about your own number was scary, but so valuable! They were positive and helpful and I was trying to absorb it all like a sponge. The biggest points I took from there were to keep up the 'fuck you' attitude and to not let the energy drop in the middle of the number. 

DURING PERFORMANCES

I had missed the stage so badly. Even though there was little audience, I still felt so alive and present and happy to be there. I wanted to do more shows I felt like the time went by too quickly. Some of the shows went better for me than others, but I'm glad I got through them all and managed to keep myself healthy and motivated. 

Some things that definitely improved for me as I was doing the act as a small routine, were the timing with the music and becoming more calm and not rushing as much (still learning that!). Also I started to know my technique better.

THE AFTERMATH & TAKEAWAYS

I have so much to say in this part I don't know where to start. It's crazy to think that the thing that we've been working for for 2 1/2 years is now behind us. During the creation of the graduation solo I have laughed, cried, mourned, loved and hated. I learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of and made so many mistakes which make me smarter for the future.

The thing I am so so grateful for is having great teachers watching over me and guiding me whenever I need help. I loved having different perspectives give each their own take on me and what I'm doing and helping me make my number better. I don't want to get too sentimental here but I truly wouldn't have felt so great about the shows if it wasn't for the teachers.

I am very content with the ending state of my act. I am proud of what I created because I worked hard for it and was truly interested in the topics I was expressing.

The feedback I received from people watching the show was very positive, but it's hard to take that objectively as they are my friends and family.

If I were to ever perform the act again I would improve it by trying to get the energy and intense feeling even greater and polish the floor sequences more.

The things I want to take away from this show and act are:

- don't stress too much, you are doing this because you love it

- trust yourself more

- you can't make an amazing number in a day so chill out, just do your best

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My chosen cartoon

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Photos from Kaneli Kabaree

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Impro sessions in August/September where I came up with the beginning and most of the floor choreography

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Photos from the pastiche demo

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Training, researching different shapes and tricks. Not everything made it to the final cut.

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