Week 6 – The Lurgy!!

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Argh!  Everyone is sick!

It’s half term, and lots of people are suffering from the dreaded Lurgy!  Lynieve is unwell, Maddy is unwell, half the members are unwell… what are we to do?!

On Saturday we soldiered on with who we had, but on Sunday – oooof! We were half the amount we should have been so it made it REALLY hard to get work done.

The members however, really came to our rescue by being amazing, responsible and helpful – the Juniors helped Maddy cover the singing class and learned the finale song for the Gala – they even put some moves together – look!

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Weeks 5 – Dance, dance… dance!

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While the singing and acting tutors keep chipping away at those scenes and lyrics, some of the mostly challenging work we do at the weekend happens in dance.  Paradigmz, our dance tutor has been with Dreamarts for a long time, so he really knows how to get results – but boy is he tough!  He will make you practice again and again until you get it right – there is something to be said for this approach as our bodies have something called ‘muscle memory‘…. they say it takes 10 000 hours of practice to make someone and expert.  But we don’t have 10 000 hours, only 2.5 hours spread over 10 or so weeks so that’s why it’s such a challenge!

And the Juniors starting to bring Fat Sam’s Grand Slam to life…

Week 4 – Let the rehearsals commence!

BLOCKING.

We’ve got really stuck into rehearsals now… everyone has their role, and they are furiously ‘blocking’ the show – blocking is when the director tells the actors where to enter, exit and stand in the scenes.  Most directors work in this way – they spend some time at the start of the rehearsal period to block the show from beginning to end, and then once they’ve done that they go back and work on the details of the acting.

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Here are the Saturday and Sunday Seniors in the stages of blocking….

For the Sunday Juniors however, this is working a bit differently as they are devising the scenes around songs from Into The Woods, so they get to make up what happens in the scene in terms of the action – they just fit it around a skeleton story frame that makes up the show…

They read the description of the scene and discuss…

File 05-03-2015 14 12 19       and then they get up on their feet and make the scene…

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Casting conundrums… Week 3

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Casting is never easy… everyone puts their all in and there are always only so many lead roles to be filled, so it figures that someone is going to be disappointed.  It’s easy to understand why too!  For some of our members it is the first time that they have been put under the microscope in this way and it is REALLY nerve-wracking!  Ask any actor – it is a lifetime of anxiety!

What makes it worth it however, is knowing that you have challenged yourself to do something that is scary – even if it doesn’t come off the way you hoped.  We try to cast members in the role, not only that they deserve, but also one that will challenge them in some way.  Our idea of what they deserve and what they think they deserve is sometimes not the same, but we do try!  We spend a lot of time thinking about what our members have put into, not only the audition, but also the sessions – if you’ve turned up late a lot, or messed about in the sessions and not focused but done an amazing audition, we are not likely to take the risk on you, not because we don’t think you are any good, but because we need members who are totally committed to the show. While we have a lot of fun and learn new skills, what we also do at Dreamarts is provide life lessons for members – and this is a BIG one!

You get out, what you put in.

Any this is another –

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

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What?!!!!  What does she mean?

Well, I guess what I’m saying is, even if you have one line, if you make the most of it and put the work in, people will remember you!  These guys were already on that, as soon as they had been cast…

“ I’d like to do more work on a US accent”

“I’d like to work on my characters physicality”

 “I need more physical character stuff”

 “I’d like some help with projection

 “I need help with how my character moves”

 “I need help with basic stage craft”

This is how you get a better role!

Week 2 – Next!

Auditions week never ceases to amaze the team as to how talented our members are… sometimes it’s very obvious because they are the most confident and show those talents in every session week after week.

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However, sometimes we see people who are the quiet ones, the ones who stay in the background and don’t come forward, suddenly taking a risk in the audition room and showing us performances we would never have expected!   One of our member’s Mums sent us this text (we’ve blacked out the name so as not to embarrass them!):

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What is also lovely to see, it that our members really try to support each other – Jewel has been given some encouraging post-it notes, for example:

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Although quite why they’re stuck on her face, no one knows!

At least it amused her!

Happy New Year, happy new term!

It feels like a long break over the holidays so we were all a bit creaky getting back into gear this weekend.

Gala Auditions 2015

We had our audition ‘taster’ workshop, in preparation for the auditions next weekend for our Gala performances.  We had some new members to welcome, which was great and the tutors took the members through their paces.  Everyone learnt a little bit of text, song and choreography to perform for the audition panel.

The groups have really challenged themselves with the choices of shows they’ve made this year.  One of the Senior members commented,

‘Think we made this hard for ourselves!’

after the dance session… Lol!  They’ve not even started yet! ;o)

End of term!

We had a great day sharing bits of the work we’ve been doing over the term.

All the member had a chance to warm-up as a whole group and have some fun and then they had some time to practice the things they were showing back.

The Juniors and Seniors hardly ever get a chance to talk to each other, let alone see each other’s work, so it was great to see them giving each other such insightful feedback and supporting each other as they shared work-in-progress.

Here is a taste of what is to come!

Sunday Juniors performing a section of ‘Hello Little Girl’ from Into The Woods (man, I look scared too!)

The Saturday Seniors wowed us with this VERY energetic routine for ‘Make ’em Laugh’ from Singin’ in the Rain!

Meanwhile, the Seniors got up to some rapping for Bring It On…

Looking in great shape for the Gala next term already! Eeep!

Week 7 – And now, the end is near…

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Just one more week until the end of term! So that means everyone was working really hard to making their pieces for the sharing next week.

The Saturday Juniors were having a great time rehearsing their scenes from Bugsy Malone…

Claire helps Danait to direct her fellow actors, to perfect their scene

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Zack and Adam try not to giggle while playing a meeting of two gang heads, while Rezart looks on…

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Jack, Myles and Hermela looking mean as Fat Sam’s henchmen. IMG_0772

To be honest, I’m not sure what was going on here, but Tuuji is certainly committee to it what ever it is!! :o)

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Ardita, Elena and Maya playing some of Fat Sam’s Speakeasy girls looking on adoringly at Bugsy

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Awww…

 

Meanwhile, the Sunday Juniors were exploring environments and stage pictures for Into The Woods…

Here they are exploring the woods in an exercise where the animals are hunting the human and yet the animals and the trees can transform from one into the other  when touched.

In singing they are still wrestling with dear old Stephen Sondheim…. narration now being added but everyone is so engaged with listening they forgot to sing!!

Week 6 – Down to the business of show…

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This week all the groups got down to working sections of choreography, songs and scenes to prepare for our in-house sharing at the end of this term – only 2 weeks away! Where has the time gone?  It is really amazing how quickly everyone is picking things up – makes for very exciting weekends for those of us seeing people improve in front of our eyes!

The Acting sessions are going particularly well as our Tutors work with the groups to explore the stories and characters.

Here’s Claire reading through a Bugsy scene with some of the Saturday Juniors…

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Then they got up and tried some things out… here’s Jewell and Iman working on a scene between Bugsy and Blousey.

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While some of the others worked on scenes with Fat Sam and his Gang members.  Here’s Ella, Anissa, Tuuji, Jada and Gana working on theirs…

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The Seniors were doing equally well on Saturday, working on scenes from Singin’ In The Rain which require some bold, diva-like characterisations! Here’s Amelia and Ben working with our volunteer Sophie to create a scene…

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Our Sunday Groups are also doing brilliantly, with the Juniors working hard to get to grips with the very wordy Steven Sondheim, but they are determined…

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Miranda, who is in charge of doing our costumes this year has even already bought a couple of things for Into The Woods!

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Meanwhile the Seniors got into some scene work with Alejandro and Anna for Bring It On…

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Here’s Evie and Jamaira in a confrontation improvisation between the characters Campbell and Danielle…
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Finally, they got learning some cheerleading style choreography for on of the big songs in the show, It’s All Happening… it’s early days and they’re doing great (they just need to get fitter!!)

Here’s Bacson, Jamaira, Evie, Eduardo and Venesa showing their section back…

Week Five – The People Have Spoken…

And the winners are (drum roll please…)

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BUGSY MALONE!

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN!

INTO THE WOODS!

BRING IT ON!

Everyone seems really happy with the choices – especially the Sunday Seniors who, despite admitting that Bring It On was going to be hard work choreographically, they still chose it as they really wanted to do something contemporary.

No sooner had we announced the shows they’d chosen, than did we get working on them!

 

This is what some of the members had to say about their sessions:

 

“I love Splat!” (game)

“I prefer Let’s Wah to Splat!” (another game!)

“I really liked the scene work – nothing negative to say.”

“I like exploring my own ideas, trying different possibilities.”

“I felt like I was really in the woods surrounded by animals.”

“You create by adding to what others are offering.”