Guest blog by Diane Gooding, Encore East
On Sunday 17 September, EncoreEast weathered the drizzly rain to take part in two workshops led by one of our own members, Lyn Matthews, at The Discovery Centre at RSPB Minsmere. Other members of the public joined us to participate, and, despite the rain, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful setting, incorporating trees and sculptures into some of our groupwork.
The theme of the workshops was ‘Bird’ and, during the session, we thought about how birds might move. Words such as swoop, hover and hop were introduced and we tried to incorporate some of these into our movements, using our whole body or sometimes parts of our body. We were encouraged to think beyond mimicking birds as such, but instead to put our own interpretation of the actions into our movements. We also thought about bird behaviour – hunting, pecking and gleaning and again used our bodies to transpose these words into our bodies. Short sequences were devised and developed by the addition of turns, jumps and travelling. It was amazing how diverse and inventive the sequences created were. Within a very short space of time, everyone had a ‘solo’ sequence which they could repeat.
Further ‘bird’ sequences were then devised in groups. Each group had a card on which were ‘instructions’, such as lunging, reaching, fluttering and scooping. Each group created a short group piece, and the results were both imaginative and original. I always find the willingness of people to collaborate in the creative process inspiring and really enjoyed sharing ideas and actions with others. For me, the end result is secondary to the enjoyment of ‘making’.
You can watch some of the performance of 'Bird' at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut_h3wvYgjo
To conclude the sessions, EncoreEast shared a short piece they have been working on, choreographed by Lyn. This was as a taster for a much longer piece planned for next year, hopefully to be performed at Minsmere again. As we began the first performance, a flock of geese flew in a perfect vee formation above us. Surely a sign they gave their approval to our efforts. We felt encouraged that we now have a good basis on which to build for next year.
If you didn’t manage to make the workshops this year, keep watching EncoreEast’s newsletters for information about next year’s event. We hope to fly with you then!
Canada Geese by David Naylor
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