Sunday, 16 August 2015

Belinda Whiting photos from residency

These are the ones which didn't get on the website
and there are many more lovely photos i can show the main co next term....

I am indecisive when it comes to images, "Editing is everything" my brother tells me! he should know, but i have little talent in that area, my improv skills are based on what we call "bodging" and comes from a "make it with whats in front of you" mentality not a planner, although i have had to struggle to acquire some of that with funding needs.
I have dreams and vision and somehow one has to squeeze that into plans, which can work but can hurt in the squeezing!

Shelley O'Berg visited recently and she had such good insights into performance and symbolism that i meant to get her to write them down. Shelley worked in Shallal for approx 3years? about 17 years ago, I can only set it by the age of our children, Esme is nearly 18.

Nearly on holidays.... here are the photos by Belinda Whiting,
many thanks to her and we loved working with her and look forward to her working on Cornish Doorways with us.
Also highly recommend her truly beautiful book

Star - warm up
loved the floor and the light

Jonathan made huge strides with balance and confidence in that week
Jonathan normally walks with 2 crutches for support and was moving around with a bamboo like a tightrope walker!

Skye and Katie 

Kerry and Star

Arron was able to be back with us

Hannah (left) visiting with Kerry from Italy! fun in warm up
(Having thought Luke was at school that week, his finished early so he came along on some days)

Anna -  a new member, Paul - returning Shallal 2 member - in the background with Jo and Zoe

we loved the wall it was much used!

Joseph started an open improv

Bamboos, Kerry had wanted to revisit working with them for a long time so we had the time to

Zo and Toby are such wonderful sensitive supportive dancers so we gave them a duet to start with no music, the music followed on from them

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Meetings! and Shallal restart info 11th September

It could be a hard commute to work, with not rush hour but holiday traffic, and Lou arrived at the Studio residency to eventually work with the artists after setting off 3 hours before.
However.....I detoured to Joe's studio ( to drop off Michael ) and arrived in time to St Ives, sunny and congested but beautiful the light is amazing, you could drink it up!
Meeting with Colin and then George to finish this term and prepare for next.
Art runs into itself and has it's own momentum and dialogue, but in teams and with planning you need to capture points and reflect and prepare before the next enthusiasm and struggle.

So much good had come out of the residency and so much new exciting work to prepare for in Cornish Doorways.

Welcome home also to Demelza after 3 months in Spain.

Photos from George of our meeting/s!

coffee for Colin and logistics

perch for lunch break and last conversation 

George and i sat against a wall near the sea, then returned to the studio to wait with the artists and had final chat - so interesting - we both felt we were just dipping our toe into this world of possibilities and discovery in improvisation.
I don't think i have worked with someone before so committed to improvisation and in touch with it in the social and creative way.
Lots to look forward to and Dean Evans giving us a talk our first day back so straight into the next phase bringing along all the skills and insights we have gained.

Shallal Dance Theatre restarts 11th September, first meeting at Blackwater Village Hall.

with talk by Dean Evans on Passmore Edwards.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

old photos and Helen

I often seem to do random summer pre holiday blog and here is one!
I popped into Marjorie and Zoe's a few weeks ago and saw these - forgive the poor quality - i rushed out to get the Shallal ipad to quickly record them on.
So on this board recently discarded by the John Daniel Centre are archive photos for early Shallal!
A young Zoe Wilton in purple, Linda Williamson and Mary Derrington - both moved away to live out of the area. Paul Gosling who died some years ago and was an amazing performer. 
I still remember a friend being moved to tears as Paul improvised outside Truro Cathedral. 
We had a small area to perform in but Paul took his solo, with guitarist Charlie Heykoop, and danced the whole cobbled area, gesturing up gracefully to the spires!

Photo from an exhibition at Treliske Hospital about activities for older people, with Marjorie and Zoe.
I love it and had never seen it's behind glass so forgive the reflections etc.

Between these 2 photos many things happened......
Helen Thompson joined us and was an extraordinary and wonderful contributor and performer within Shallal. I have been putting off writing about her as she died some months ago now in Spain, quite quickly from cancer, and her ashes will be spread over the land she lived on and loved at the end of October.
You would need a good trilogy to do justice to Helen's life and one of our favourite family memories of her was her long and totally absorbing stories, which you were not allowed to cut short, she would follow you out the room to finish them or keep the flow!
She was a multi talented artist and also her life was her art. I remember a poem by heart, i have a collage and a painting by her - two of my favourites. I have a textile fish made from Jamie Brown's design in a frame on the wall above my desk, she made props for Midnight Feast, she took over our costume for years. She was a warm, good and entertaining friend and i cannot do justice to her. In the last years she lived in Spain.
I have photos i need to find of her.

A poem from Helen, which she performed and i still remember.

Down came the arrows that were dancing as they flew.
Down comes the curtain to obliterate the view.
I'm showing off again and (yet) the panic has set in
and all my endless chatter is just adding to the din,
you're leaving me.
I'm saying you're not the only one and others care for me, as i for them and you're just one
while me i'm dancing free.
What crap!
And now you're gone.

Midnight Feast, which the poem was performed in, with Helen seated on the floor 'feeding grapes' to Paul.
Roger Pinsent wrote the music for us and Shelley who is on the right comes back to Cornwall to visit tomorrow.

Recent poem she sent me.
I Hear There are Some

I hear there are some
Who don’t think of the past
As behind them
And the future as ahead
As we do.

For them it’s the other way around.

The past they can see
So that’s what they face (poor things)
And the future they can’t, 
See, it’s hidden.
So that’s what’s behind them.

I used to point forward and cry: Look!
There are the answers,
All of them,
There, and there, and there! See?

Now I lift my chin and roll my eyes
Up and back over my old shoulder and sigh:
And there are the questions;
All of them

I’ve yet to ask.

Saturday, 8 August 2015


More excitement!

So i have just heard back from Dean Evans who gives talks on Passmore Edwards!
Many thanks to Anna Murphy who helped to connect us, she mentioned the recently renovated Blackwater Village Hall and it looks lovely!
"Following 5 years of fundraising, we have now completed the restoration of the Passmore Edwards Institute. Everyone who has been involved with the restoration project is hugely excited to see the building looking so beautiful.
The building has been designed to be accessible by all, including wheelchair users and those with limited mobility."
It is the first of the Passmore Edwards buildings, what a wonderful way to start our research for the Passmore Edwards / libraries branch of Doorways!

A draft blog from last term read:
Doorways has started and already the creativity in the company in response to it is exciting, exhilarating and inspiring. 
Creativity is also perspiration and frustration sometimes but for now "hurray" to be finally doing this long awaited project, a huge thank you to all who enabled us to get here, especially Barbara Santi and here we go…
With a three pronged creative stream in the main company: commissions, our own work interests, and projects. 
Before Christmas we were saved by fantastic commissions, this term we were enabled to follow our new creative interest “Always New” which we will follow up at our residency, and is empowering our summer outreach performances, and now we are pleased to be back to this source of inspiration Doorways.
Building on previous work in our pilot and looking at new sources of research and development.

As always with the way we work you start in one direction and find yourself looking at it from other vantage points. Zoe took photographs of Doorways around St Peter’s Hall, fantastic, ‘the girls” went out with Jo Lumber to photograph in Newlyn.

 for "girls" photos see Shallal Studio blog:

Musical feedback

Message to main company from George! after the show.

HiYa Jo and all lovely "Shallal-sters"

What a sweet group picture Belinda took.

And what a tremendous group work/week.

Bit tired I am!
Hope you are all well...
I think we can be Super Pleased with what we create.

I was so very impressed with the Shallal 2 show!
So beautiful, moving and even funny to eye watering hilarious too! 
I wish I could watch our show from the audience.

I love being part of Shallal.

Lottsa  Love to all,
"Hit-it" George

"Hit it George" is Katie's phrase which has stuck!

photo from Belinda

I have started sending out evaluation questions/forms
It was so busy we couldn't do it straight after and sometimes it is nice to digest and have a little space and reflect on it.....

Kerry Lawrence's feedback was very insightful......
Please can you comment on the residency......

Working with Live improvised music:
Again this was new experience, watching the interaction and communication between the dancers and the musician was something I had seen in India only at a performance level . The synchronicity between the members of the company, George and the members of Shallal who worked with George was inspirational. Somehow the musicians were able to interpret and anticipate the rhythms and movements of the dancers in a way which I can only describe as a sort of musical architecture. There appeared to be real structure on which the dancers were able to perform and experiment with.

Having the space and possibility to explore musical compositions informed by the dancers and for the dancers being able to respond to the music which in turn comes out of their own movement is a rare and marvellous experience. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

see the show ( side view ) on vimeo

Lots to say but for now the long awaited film recording of Always New 24 July

Thanks to Matt Grocutt from The Performance centre for doing filming etc for us.

It was filmed from 2 cameras but one was knocked out of focus so this film is only from the side angle.
However it still shows quite a lot...........sadly not George playing, 
also it repeats the first half so skip onto 1 hour for second half 

Here is a link to the Shallal video online:

You will need the password: sh4ll4l     (these are letters ll not 11)

In the perfromance we showed work from new group Shallal 2 in the first half, Dance on the Grass, which had been created for an outdoor summer show in Gyllyngdune Gardens. 
(Maybelle is 5 and her mum Rosie is dancing with her baby brother Sidney strapped on.)

Then echoes dance co, 3 of them, did a choreographed piece  which Shallal dancers improvised in and out of beginning of second half.

Followed by Shallal Dance Theatre in Always New.
We have been working an open improvisation format for performance with an improvising solo musician George for about a year and so this is what we were exploring in the residency.
The 2 solos had only been done once or twice before the show: first one Zoe Wilton has been working in Shallal approx 25 yrs now
second solo another Zoe, Zoe Osmond 16 ( artist and musician  no formal dance training ) had never done a solo before and was from Shallal 2.

I was so pleased with them all, as it was all unchoreographed and improvised in the moment with the musician apart from 3 obvious recorded pieces which were still improvised.

In The Moment is likely to be the title of our next stage of research/performance.
Looking forward to end of term conversations with Colin and George.....

Playfest with Shallal 2 and Kneehigh's show yesterday more on next blog!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Playfest today!

Playfest 12pm - 1pm today

Last chance to see some of the dances from Dance on the grass this summer!

Shallal 2 send their outreach group to Playfest in Boscawen Park, Truro.

Catch them at 12pm for the performance - not to be missed!
12.30pm for the play/workshop with lots of colour, props and music, and gentle fun!

The work is always different: strong musical tracks due to Jo Lumber and Zoe Osmond's influence, combined with drama, humour and abstraction.

The pieces are themed, some loosely, and then the day, the performers and the atmosphere take over to make each performance unique.
Will Maybelle ( age 5 ) enjoy dancing in a tent?
Will Sidney, nearly 5 months now, be happy for mum to dance with him strapped on?
 - I am still in awe that Rosie was able to do all of the show at AMATA, The Performance Centre, with Sidney happily strapped on - a first for us all !!!
Anna and I are so keen to see the film / photos of that show.
Peter's quirky humour, Miles is back with us - he was ill on 24th - and i could say something lovely about everyone but come and see for yourself, they are a varied and amazing group of dancers, still developing and exploring and always worth watching and it's FREE!

The final treat of the day for some of us is Kneehigh's Show at Heligan
thanks again to them for continuing to provide this opportunity
with workshop with Anna Maria Murphy first!

and then it really will be summer holidays,
except for those of us happily painting through the summer in Porthmeor on Shallal Studio blog...

George phoned the other day excited to explore music and line and colour so here goes, we'll start at Porthmoer and hopefully culminate in a longer exploration at Back Lane West.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Cornishman article

Matt from The Performance Centre is kindly getting the film ready from Always New to share with us, unfortunately the central camera was knocked and was then slightly unfocused so we will only have side view but still a record, which we look forward to watching.
Looking forward to having a final chat with George to evaluate the residency from the music and improvisation perspective. It was a really interesting and informative time which we plan to build on and look at ways of sharing and disseminating.

ROC SculptMotion Dance have invited us to visit them as they prepare for their new show in Paignton this autumn. They planned to come and then couldn't make it down to the residency so we look forward to meeting and sharing with them.

Thank you to our new trustees, Alexandra, Nick and Hennie. There was a trustees meeting last night.