My Time Project Diary

My Time project  diary/blog


31 Dec 2010

Get news about ACE funding.  Feel amazed, happy.  Fantastic news.  Feel really validated.  Proud. Delighted can offer to pay Malcolm and Dariusz.

Same night can’t sleep.  Nerves.  Can I use Shostakovich if I’m commissioning Malcolm to do the music/sound?

1 Jan 2011 – Now I actually have to do it and justify the spending

2 Jan worried about opening a bank account.  Resisting online banking.

4 Jan –scheduled rehearsal had to be cancelled.

Sent in Arts Development application to City Council.  Had to redo budget because different system of accounting for in-kind support.

5 Jan .  Had acupuncture and had hip and back taped up with bright pink support tape. Drove near a bank but it was raining and lost nerve.

6 Jan 2011

1st rehearsal of new year. Leave house to sound of ‘don’t go’ .  A little flat but some good explorations.  Filmed hand descending in to light.  Want to see if can connect live body on stage to movement of hand from above. Tried straight and also with simultaneous projection.

Filmed upside down walking by lying on back on skateboard –got neck ache.  I want to flip the image over so becomes unreal walking the right way up.

Filmed foot dragging along the floor and Dariusz used camera movement (following trial and interesting ominous atmosphere footage in December)

Got home and looked through notebook.  Must try out some of the ideas I’ve sketched in there.

Embarked on trying to organise self.  Created this and a log to record time spent on activities.  Sounding a bit like a new year resolution.

Revisited little flyer to advertise classes in village for older people (without those words)

7 Jan continued to hassle Dariusz about confirming rehearsal dates..

10 Jan –Opened new bank account specially for project.  Felt like an old lady.

Emily phone to change rehearsal times due to flood in studio.  Sad news.

11 Jan.  Rehearsal in theatre space. Time adjusted because of flood in studio.  No cloths or white cyc.  Small projection screen.  Lights, but not where needed. But we did have haze!  Must get clearer about what movement qualities to use.  Tried using small mirror to reflect light and for Dariusz to film me reflected in it.  Worked well. Tried column of light –except not a straight sided column –movement within it and also passing through with pause.

12 Jan. Began to worry about some of the ideas had had for using the mirror and whether would be too challenging for audience.  Thought about it and came up with a couple of other ideas.  Practised by self in village hall.  Still struggling to find real reason for moving in this piece.

13 Jan –Heard from Andrew Dawson.  He’s free in January now for mentor session so need to sort that out.  Went shopping for more organising materials –stationery.

14 JanDariusz has opened myspace and youtube accounts for ‘mytime’

14 JanInvestigated some movement possibilities in Butoh class.

16 Jan Communicated with Andrew Dawson, pencilled in 2 Feb for coming to Oxford.

18 Jan Sorted through video clips of trials and created a ‘promo video’ at Dariusz’  will be uploaded to youtube and sent to Claire and Pegasus later/tomorrow

Rehearsal at Pegasus – White cyc back up –great.  Dave kindly set up variety of lights.  Was tying to get ‘wall of light’ –first tried lights from top sides and middle  -too much of a v shape of light at top and wall effect not strong. Then 3 lights from above covering less area – a bit better but still not right really.  The rest of the body too visible from light bouncing off haze and white cyc –especially before worked out how to dim brightness on projector.  Not promising. Strip on floor a good 6” wide –too much.  Not effect I was imagining.  Later tried shutting down floor light with light not touching floor.  Still not the ‘wall’ but was better for providing more limited, focussed light.

Segolene there to dance for me –really useful to have her try out ideas for me to see. Great. Took little clips with flip camera.

Filmed more  close ups of hand for potential live body film interaction.  Looking good.

Time goes quickly –especially when setting up lights and camera shots.  Good session.  Bit worried as Dave cannot guarantee we can have the lights we want until he knows what everyone else needs.  We are working specifically with light, that is the point of the piece, we really will need to know that we can have what we need.

18 Jan. bit of blurb to accompany youtube clip which Dariusz uploaded.  Still working out how to edit bits.  Regret including  end of my running around with a stick as come to camera although it certainly makes point about ageing body!

Responded to call for pieces for Brighton Festival.

19 Jan Practice in village hall.  Still no one came to join me –a bit relieved.  I’d better be a bit more proactive about advertising my class.  Able to move through some ideas for piece but didn’t get far.

20 Jan Spent ages just trying to write another press release.  Got to get quicker at these things. Started to write a bit more about background to the piece and collaboration with Dariusz.. Got tech rehearsal schedule from Emily and replied.  Got letter from City Council to say application for arts development grant been unsuccessful.  Can’t blame them with it being the last pot of money but a bit disappointing all the same.

21 Jan –Met composer Malcolm for an hour to discuss how to develop soundtrack.  He has been trying to create something that will perform the same function as the Shostakovich I was thinking of using for one section.  Decided he will create short sound sequences with differing moods/qualities.  Have requested some up beat, some whimsy, also recorded voices and more natural sounds –water, breaking sticks etc.  These snippets can be used in isolation as rehearse until we decide on overall structure/sequence.

22 Jan –Met Dariusz before rehearsal.  He instructed me in social networking for marketing the show –he has set up links to new Youtube account to existing vimeo and facebook.  Strongly recommended I open accounts with these –against my reluctance to join these networks.  We also deliberated about email contact to put on youtube –have created one specially as wouldn’t like own usual one advertised.

22 Jan – Rehearsal at Pegasus.  Unfortunately only had the floor light, projector and the vertical light.  Also the cable to projector on the other side of the stage from where we need it.  Dave was not meant to be there so though he gave us the vertical, he didn’t have time for any other changes.

Also, after he’d left we realised the cable to the laptop/camera was not communicating with the projector.  Luckily girl on reception let Dariusz up there and she phoned Dave to ask advice.  This took up nearly the first hour of rehearsal.  Has made me see the advantage of having eg a week long (or at least 3 days) residency at a time so equipment can just stay put and set up.

Had Segolene dance for me, also Paola came, gave feedback and tried some ideas.

Explored: mirror. Practiced switch from prerecorded footage to live camera and my switch from looking at self to angling mirror to new position.  Not easy to do exactly! Decided best if figure has back to audience.  Found a way in and out of this sequence.  Also a link to pre recorded effect of circle that can move about on the screen and dancer can interact with.  Some discussion about this.  How does this effect ‘fit’ in the piece as a whole? While interesting is it valid in the context?  Paola mentioned Moon connection –liked image of pulling down the moon. I may explore that more.

Tried projector light as follow spot.  Works well though movement limited to up and mid stage as angle of light from high projector cuts off further downstage.

Possibility to make spot ‘busy’.  Could have stop start interaction with dancer.

22 Jan went to see Danish Dance at Playhouse.  Some points of inspiration.

24 Jan.  Met up with Dariusz to talk through what we’ve got and begin to think about structure/balance of live camera/projection and dance.  Really useful and even more ideas and possible transition ideas.  Big discussion about whether to use the moon or the sun, but agreed on water.  Dariusz had prepared some good looking water effect –nice bright blues.  Felt very productive but didn’t get through all of our ideas and put them down on paper as I had to rush off to meeting.

25 Jan. Met up with Malcolm and listened to short snippet he has recorded for part of piece.  Light in mood, rhythmical using words of familiar song ‘de leg bone connected to the thigh bone..’ not quite sure but could be funny.  Gave him list of ‘mood’ snippets I would like for the piece and some of the real sounds and effects I’d like incorporated: water, crack stick, light saber, glass crunch

26 Jan. Had a short practice at village hall.  One person came to my ‘gentle, dance flavoured exercise’ class. Still not getting far with movement qualities for piece.

27 Jan.  Extremely frustrating time trying to understand ways to send photos.  Dariusz has some massive files and having got stuck with dropbox, he found another way which still I didn’t find easy.  Feeling prehistoric and sure to have irritated the technology savvy Dariusz.

Also heard from mentor who I was expecting for next rehearsal that he may have difficulty on that date… just after I’ve sent pushy emails to Pegasus and Dance forum for everything to be in order because he’s coming…should have been more relaxed…

30 Jan. More communication with Andy.  Will try and come to rehearsal 21 feb although may have to go to Russia.

31 Jan.  Malcolm sent 2 short tracks to try out in rehearsal.  References ‘dem bones’ and hospital hip questionnaires. Different in feel and quite fun.

1 Feb. Typed up notes in table form made with Dariusz in last planning meeting.

1 Feb. Sent off application for ‘Practice’ for work in progress showing opportunity in Bath.  Arranged with Pete to put up website ‘under construction’ and add contact details and youtube link to my time.  This was prompted by mail from South Hill Park where ‘footage’ is going to be shown in ‘X-tend’ and information flyers printed –good opportunity to spread contact details.  I’m learning!  Was really pleased they seem to have chosen my foot as main image for flyer.  Great.

2 Feb. Met up with Dariusz to plan rehearsal.  Felt a long time since talked and took a while to get on to planned area. Went over ftp argument again…and discussed the BBC interview he did instead of me last Friday to advertise OFVM screening.

2 Feb. Rehearsal.  Most of the lights in place.  But –no white cyc as banner up for evening show (a map of Israel for Mark Thomas).  Had to make do with projector on stage and small screen.  Really beginning to feel nervous about pulling it all together.  Very difficult to get going for some reason –may be too long a gap since last rehearsal.  Various frustrating technical hitches with laptop.  Moving circle idea which I’d thought flexible and straight forward didn’t seem to be so this time.  Pre prepared water had seen at Dariusz’ too dark to create enough light for live figure (he’d added black background.  New sidelight which I’d asked for for ‘wall of light’ /narrow beam I realised wouldn’t do what I wanted as camera on other side.  Dariusz liked it –shooting  in to the light –good effect but not one that is going to give detail of skin etc which I’d intended.  Haze effective for this scene also quite nice the narrow corridor of light on floor which could travel along –eg toes while sitting on skateboard.  Could put hands in to haze/light above .  Should have organised for dancer to be there so I could see the over all effect of screen and body.

Did a bit of new moving to the 3 tracks Malcolm had prepared –useful.  They add a nice light new dimension and provoked some new moves so that was good.  Overall, though useful felt quite despondent at end didn’t feel had covered as much ground as I’d like to have at all and more aware of some of the technical difficulties/precision will need to deal with to really make it work.  Decided to meet up again soon to decide on which prepared clips to make in order to bring to next rehearsal.  And to start tying down overall structure.  Again, I’m uncomfortable with fixing things too soon. But will be knock on practical implications if don’t…the joys of collaboration and technology!…

3.2.11 – met up with Dariusz after ODF meeting to discuss clips that need preparing for next rehearsal and finish up discussion begun 2 weeks ago about different segment ideas for the piece.  Very useful and hopefully next rehearsal will be more productive.  I have to be careful not to get too preoccupied with the lighting/video/technical/logistical and start concentrating on my movement itself!  Feeling a bit more positive after meeting than did after rehearsal yesterday. At Dariusz’ also finally send a compressed email version of photo requested by Tei for marketing.

4.2.11- Ah, some moving at last.  Spent morning improvising with Malcolm doing music live.  Let go of structure/preoccupation with lights and video etc but I brought my props.  At last discovering a few real new moves/body presence. A few new images to mind/body

6.2.11 –Looked over the rehearsal footage from flip camera.  Heartening.  Really nice to see the moment of having particular idea and trying out.  Could also check out remember effects tried with Segolene.  Started logging clips in case useful later.

7.2.11 – Rehearsal in studio.  Receptionist looked shocked we were there and said studio was full of stuff.  Held nerve and all was ok.  She checked again and realised that yes, we were in the diary after all.  Dave looked busy and preoccupied but managed to bring us projector.  Dariusz worked out how to use the electronic shutters on the windows so we could block out the light.

Tried the water and moon effect.  Still not settled on exact sequence but does look magical –potentially.

Tried the upside down walking but not straight forward to have travelling in same direction. also tried it with water effect so more like swimming.  I would like to have it like outdoor walking.  Asked if Dariusz had an outdoor texture like grass or pavement.  Found grass.  Lovely!  Made me want to roll on it.  So we tried that and that looked good –though only when I was in enough light for the camera to pick it up.  Also small pool of light in it which a nice echo of other sections.

Back to circle tried it blue and then white and then switching from computer circle to filmed circle which bit of body can enter.

Again, I am feeling I need to be careful to assert the physical presence on stage as well as the film and the film interaction.  So far still effect/film heavy.

The moon and sea good with body as more or less silhouette but when come to actual 3d body in light simultaneously with film projection not there yet.

Malcolm came by and dropped off two new tracks for us to try.  One a lovely waltz, the other more creepy atmospheric.

At the end of rehearsal, Emma from Pegasus came to interview to find out about the piece and how to market it.  We also recorded this on flip.

Generally positive rehearsal but some structure fixing needs to be done so that Malcolm can start having a clearer idea about the length for different bits of music and the moods.

8.2.11 –ODF meeting.  Talked about project and also footage which being screened.  Went to see Anjali work in progress at The Mill Banbury.  In the evening, an email asking if available for interview for local radio for moving with the times.  Replied immediately and half an hour later phone call to confirm would like to use me for nearer the time of the show.  Feel like I’m getting better at this –though may have compromised self talking about lack of ‘proper’/conventional dance training….

9.2.11 –practice in village hall again with Malcolm improvising.  Came up with two new movement ideas.  Malcolm introduced my home life in sound track(Alonso urging me to get up or we’ll be late) –could work well with section on table.  Good to move and some interesting sound ideas emerging.  Though still trying to avoid Malcolm bringing in too many melodies and layers!

10.2.11 –tried to write about self for radio.  Too much and wondering how to keep focus on current performance when they’re asking about background

11.2.11 –Malcolm played rough edit of new recording for first section.  He had brought the wake up idea to the beginning of the piece which I objected to.  Sometimes collaboration is difficult!

12.2.11 –To Brookes drama studio to practice.  Dariusz set up lights and projector.  I brought measurements and plan of Pegasus theatre.  Still not happy with relation of diagonal to spot and table.  Still not sure where (if can) put another sidelight for wall of light.  Malcolm came to improvise live.  Segolene to be body and outside eye.  Tried a straight improv though kept table start position.   Different ‘story’ ‘how can I get down?’ ‘I don’t know how to get down.’ Felt quite alive.  Dariusz filmed slow descent to ground.  I used chopsticks in different way –as splints and mechanical devices, hammer. Difficult to get right things going with previous projection link ideas.  First improv 18 mins long.  Did another –even longer and not enough to get all ideas in,  Different again Dariusz suggested he and Malcolm leave me on my own at some point then come back in together again.  Did a quiver in diagonal light while projection of creeping fingers (Segolene later FB good on this).  Tried being energetic in spot contrasting smooth music.  Again timing off for mirror and moon scenes.  Overturned table at end.  Segolene recorded on flip camera.  Discussed possibilities for ending with segolene.

Useful exercise.  However, I more determined to get detailed meeting points and cues for sound and video.  Dariusz however, really excited by the live possibilities.  Just wants to keep practising to help get real sense of the time/length of piece and what is possible with the live link and vjay options.  Tried grass scene –need to establish line of movement and fit in with journey of piece and camera pos with availability of light.

Good practice.  Again, the set up time is inconveniently long…Really need technician/lighting person on board too.  I did do more moving than in many other rehearsals but still have not found the real point/focus.

13.2.11- Been reflecting that originally had only seen fragments of body, wanted real close ups with ambiguity of body part/scene.  At the moment I seem to be using whole body instead of parts and don’t feel am justifying being on stage much.  However, may be should apply what I have asked Malcolm (and Dariusz) to consider: that with 3 distinct elements you do not have to do it all – ie contrasts/ironly/humour etc through combination of the different elements not carried wholly by any one of them.  Less, less, less!

13.2.11 – Malcolm emailed another beginning idea for piece.  Better than what I heard over the phone the other day.  Will try out in rehearsal.

14.2.11 – In the studio at Pegasus.  Dave helpfully set up lights for us so we had diagonal (from the right side) vertical, round spot and a fill light for table –though this from above so not what we’re actually planning to use.  Malcolm brought a cd with the new beginning idea plus some of the other pieces he’s created.  Dariusz shocked that I wanted to spend about 4 minutes on the table at the beginning. ‘but we have so much material, 2 minutes is enough.  Malcolm had even prepared a 6 minute version…The time for the timed structure is arriving!  Really interesting the idea of time.  Dariusz is coming at it from filmic terms.  2 minutes is certainly a really long time in film terms for a particular scene/cut so 4 minutes sounds an age –especially within a 15 min piece.  Tried with Dariusz talking through what shots he planned to do in this first scene.  Discovered that did need more time.  Moved on to next sections (as far as there are any as such).  I’m still a bit lost in  what movement and why. Not convincing yet.  And what music?… Left out water ripple idea.  Tried out body in spot with projected hand.  Dariusz had idea to use his hand live .  Tried that out –works well but involves a whole other camera repositioning move so decided best to use prerecorded for that. But will keep idea for next project as would work really well.  Tried grass rolling again.  This time with my image being green too.  Dariusz choreographed a filmic end to the shot with me looking a t the camera –which would show me looking out at audience.  I concerned that while I doing this my actual body just lying there on the stage not very ‘present’  need to check from audience view.  Made a good link to mirror scene though –after worked out logistics of moving out of then back in to light.  Wondering how to fit in the upside down walking.  Can I be static and the filmed image moves instead?

Tried out narrow light beam with live filming into the light.  Promising.

15.2.11 Reviewed flip footage of rehearsals.  Very encouraging!  So useful to see. Definitely helpful seeing live body and film behind –what works what doesn’t.  really pleased with the narrow beam of light from last rehearsal.  Could be really effective.

16.2.11.  Practised in the village hall.  Listening to the different music/sound tracks to try and work out which to use and where…really like the new waltz piece Malcolm did could use at end in the beam of light.  Began to get some more glimmers of shape for the piece.  Thought of linking ‘If you can walk you can dance’ to a later phrase ‘And if you can’t walk you can still dance’

16.2.11  Spoke to Andrew Dawson on phone. He may have to go to Russia but sounded committed to coming to rehearsal.  Good to talk.

17.2.11  My first radio Ox interview.  Slot with Jo theons to talk about the dance festival and my dance background.  Quite fun.  Managed to get plenty of mentions of Pegasus, dance forum, collaborators, arts council, but missed Cecelia and Joelle…Got good FB from family on my performance.

17.2.11 some structure planning


20.2.11 Argument with Malcolm over level of control in creation of sound track.  Also over process and different ways of working.  We are completely opposite in that I go straight for detail and struggle to find structure and work backwards from material to arrive at structure.  Malcolm starts with own structure.  I can’t see the point of him starting work on music /soundtrack if I haven’t given the dance structure.  Especially when I know that at certain points I want the sound to reinforce certain actions/happenings.  What is ‘collaboration?

21.2.11 More soundtrack/working on overall structure.  Really difficult to fit everything in and get all the ups and downs and work out which order to put our sequences/clips in.

Mentor session with Andy Dawson.

High state of nerves with possibility of Dariusz not making rehearsal and lighting not being up and meeting Andy as mentor for the first time.  Chatted through original ideas for piece and the images, sequences ideas that have emerged during exploration process.  Andy asked what I hoped the audience would receive/go away with from the performance.   I talked about the idea that you can still dance even if you can’t walk.  Also, to open awareness of body in its detail, be surprised by the ageing body and its possibilities.  To create beautiful and mysterious images, a bit of magic.  Strong visual experience that they can enjoy.  Talked about lighting and showed some clips from rehearsals.

Pete came to theatre to help me and to be available to help Dave with light set up.  Dariusz had to arrive late because of work.  Paola came to video.

Andy showed me a couple of Feldenkrais techniques for hip opening.

In car on the way, Andy said really could probably cover all I’d talked about while on the table and never leave it….In the theatre, got me to consider just walking across the space.  Or just arriving at the spot after the table.   I said I didn’t like to do that if I’m visible (which will be if wear pale costume) .  Also suggested walking to show the frailty and drawing attention to the hip with hand or movement from it.  (earlier had also thought could cut hole I costume at that point.

Did run through with old soundtrack prepared for Diamond nights.  Dariusz and I hadn’t had a chance to talk through what we were going to attempt. –we’ve already amassed specific ideas from practices since DN but not the order. Very stop start.

After went through some of the sections –eg hand film link to body and mirror.  Green grass didn’t work without table light spill.  Moon and water sequence clip not really prepared.

Went back to beginning –opening on table.  Andy liked the ambiguous film of close ups.  Suggested we start with middle of body rather than feet.  I have to say I agree on that.  Was unhappy about visibility of camera and equipment and movement between each.  Dariusz explained planning to have second tripod and that table with laptop would be further to side.

Andy asked why we wanted the mirror/infinity effect.  Liked the filming of foot coming in to contact with ground.

Tried the narrow beam of light at back.  Still works I think.  Dariusz did a clever way of sliding the image over so always on the other side of the screen from where I am.

At end of session (time went incredibly quickly) Andy suggested (at risk of upsetting us and plans) that we just concentrate on the body and the live camera and lose all the tricks/effects etc which although really good wouldn’t really fit in the 15 mins available to us.  I could feel the shock//dismay/discomfort form Dariusz (or rather I anticipated that).  Had also suggested I don’t need to speak –though may be in soundtrack ok.  Keep it simple and highlight the body on the stage.  He also said that everything he said we could choose to reject or keep as suited.

Was quite a shake up! But a good one probably and only just in time as really need to settle on structure for final performance.

He suggested I concentrate on the body qualities I want to convey.

21.2.11 Talk with Dariusz and Pete after Andy gone.  Dariusz said he said two good things 1) keep it simple so easy to manage 2) you can ignore what I say

Dariusz felt he hadn’t ‘got’ the point of interactivity and I explained that may be because I hadn’t emphasized that in my conversation with him so he was probably advising on the basis of my stressing the ageing body etc .  I haven’t decided quite what to follow and leave of his advice but it was very useful.  Again, I want to do more versions of this project!

22.2.11 Recorded a bit of me talking about the project for Dariusz to be able to put to clip.  Didn’t express well.

25.2.11 Sent questions for Liz to be interviewed by Malcolm for soundtrack. Malcolm recorded.

25.2.11 Prepared  two rough sound edits for practice.

26.2.11 Rehearsal at Brookes.  More or less whole day.  Dariusz invited Stavroula to give fb from about 3.  I invited Paola.  Set up lights inc narrow strip at back.  As usual Dariusz just wanted to start and not talk first though did manage to discuss a few ideas while setting up.  Tried idea of staying on table for longer.  Or coming off table to walk around it to the back.  I’d wanted to try turning it over –proved a bit cumbersome.  Probably wouldn’t work. Tried some more energetic/struggle type movements on and coming off table.  Didn’t have sea and moon clip.  Grass not good with lights.  By the time Stavroula arrived had barely begun or come up with sense of structure.  Tried a run through.  Had to wait for clips, didn’t get in to body.  Another with more activity on table.  Felt good to be more energetic.  Tried a floor plan going in opposite direction from usual.  Table, struggle, back to line of light, along it, interact with projected moon come to spot.  Do mirror scene.

FB  Stav’ liked the strength of the table and the spot felt should end in the spot as in a position of strength.  Liked the acknowledgement of Dariusz –I had said ‘I’m here’ when at the table as thought D not ready.  She liked that aliveness and communication. –interesting idea to make more present his role.  Liked the interaction with moon and mirror scene.  I didn’t like going along the beam so early in the piece –feel like it should conclude when have gained acceptance.  But quite nice to face audience directly at end from spot.  Paola and cousin Enrico arrived.  Paola asked why I would choose to go backwards instead of towards the audience.  Good Q.  Tried another run. enrico photographed and filmed bits.  He had an interesting point about the light – could emphasise the bad leg by putting it in the darkness (or I thought the other way around).  Will consider straddling the light beam instead of staying within it.  Stav’ also pointed out that when I’m on table both legs look equal may be could already signal difference in use of toes/leg/foot.  She also liked the strong silhouette form of shadow against the softness and abstractness of the filmed closeups.

At the end Paola reminded me of the original structure where I had displayed ‘generosity’ towards the audience –the Shostakovich waltz.  She’d also really liked the short clip of dancing in the prelude because it contrasted with the stillness and seriousness of the body on table.  Liked that contrast.  I had liked that too.  Has somehow got lost in latest explorations.  Good reminder.  At end of rehearsal Dariusz finally declared now was the time to talk –after rehearsal.  A realisation for him and a useful piece of information for me!  Talked and came up with a structure to try at beginning of next rehearsal.  Long day.  Nowhere near as conclusive as I’d hoped to be but some useful fb and time.

27 Feb. email feedback from Paola. Enrico had wondered about making the mirror a bit bigger so has more theatrical presence.  Paola very much liked the shrinking of the moon and carrying it.

28 Feb.  Hours of work on soundtrack opening with more arguments and tension. Malcolm feeling I’m too critical and not allowing enough of his own artistic input.  I mean while felt he was not listening properly to what I was requesting and was being too ‘clever’ in his interpretations. Simple, sparse, abstract.  I want to hear the spoken voices over the top.  The music does not have to do everything.  Want the sound to be considered as a whole –ie all the contrasts, ironies, juxtapositions etc do not have to occur in each separate section.  Has all been very frustrating and stressful.  However, began to see light at the end of the tunnel and started working together more productively.

Am still reserving judgement on whether to go for original beginning with Shostakovich or Malcolms new ideas.

1. 3.11 – finalising copy for programme.  Anxious to get all thanks in and to credit people properly.  Has resulted in a lot of communication and revision of titles! Find it stressful.  Connection with ego, roles etc.  So easy to upset people –including myself.  Interesting that brought up issues of control, identity and ownership.

2 March.  Studio Pegasus.  Probably last rehearsal with Dariusz before the tech.  Had cd from Malcolm based on what had worked on on Monday.   Problem with cd player reading cd…overcame.  But made note to make sure have at least 2 copies for the performance!  Suggested to Dariusz that try a bright landscape as way to make me cheerful/get off the table be positive towards audience.  Tried idea of straddling light corridor as walk.  Decided to introduce birdsong as cue.  Really not sure about the landscape but Dariusz positive and have to fix something….brought in hands creeping as link to spot.  Tried hand back link and dariusz made rough new clip for the spot scene.  New tension music works quite well but ends too abruptly and I can’t find the appropriate transition to the mirror scene.  This was also problematic because awkward for Dariusz to switch over from live camera to the clip.

And again. Transition for mirror audience scene to last section along the back a little clumsy.  We didn’t have that light so worked in the diagonal.  Discussion about whether projected as whole big or within circle.  I wanted big.  Could use circle earlier for audience.

Dariusz happy at end of rehearsal that had worked through sequence a few times.  Still both thinking about the very end.  I wondered about rolling on green grass.  Dariusz about using the writing.  Or just leave as melting away.


3 March.  Feeling cross with self that didn’t stay clearer and closer to original impulses.  Got carried away with possibilities and also influenced by opinions/needs/wishes of collaborators. My own fault.  In particular the ‘joy’ aspect of the Shostakovich at beginning with the link to the desire to dance.  The version I’ve come up with after last rehearsal though it has regained some positivity and lightness has lost the dance!  Why? Annoyed with self and too late to change it all back now.  However I do like the new music and it more or less works.  More about walking now.  Hardly slept because trying to make sense of order,connections and flow now in this structure.  Of course want to tweak! And shift things…


4 march –Worked on sound again at malcolms trying to get some timings working.  To Pegasus for rehearsal in studio.  Dariusz managed to come to rehearsal after all.  But not feeling well, head ache and low.  Only had laptop with him.  No camera.  Talked through the structure and I suggested new idea of bright green landscape for when I get off the table.  He seemed to like that.  Will animate with occasional bird etc.  Suggested turning last mirror clip in to moon for me to pull down and act as transitional clip to give him time to set up camera for final scene.  Dariusz left and I practised by self a bit more to the soundtrack.

Evening went to the screening of my film on castle walls and to see ‘retourament’ French aerial company.  Solo dancer on wall using light and projection.  Good.  Met Katy Pendlebury –another filmmaker and had interview with Martin Franklin for his podcast.

6.3.11Lots more listening to sound track and deciding on timings/actions

7.3.11 Went to work on sound at Malcolms. Started well but Yet again more frustrations and tension created by me wanting to get some particular atmosphere/sound and not hearing it.  Very difficult.  Continued till late but more or less final.  Had hoped Dariusz would make it over to compare with video clips and finalise together.  He too busy working on his website.  Yet again reminded I should have been at this stage at least 2 weeks ago….

8.March reflection.  Wrote up specific list of clips for Dariusz and a plan so clear for tech tomorrow.  Been thinking about putting together some images and blurb for a foyer display.  Again something I should have done 2 weeks ago…

9.3.11.     Tech run at Pegasus!  Uuumm. Picked up Dariusz’ equipment and then extra tripod and a dolly from OFVM.  Made one more sound track change.  Arrived to hear paulette said running one hour late.  Dariusz arrived (straight from interview) and said had to leave promptly at 4.30.  Luckily began more or less on time.  Lucia came and so did Paola to film and help with lights set.  Only had time for one run through.  Lots of absence of projection..Dariusz having problems with laptop and first real run through to tight plan so timings were all out.  I’ve gone through it so many times in head and listening to music so different for me.

Lighting cues seemed to be clear enough for Dave to follow and pick up on.  Really really really next time I will fix earlier! Or just improvise entirely.  Disappointed that green not brighter and some clips still not prerecorded.  So, basically nothing worked.  Paola and Malcolm said my speaking too faint in comparison with the soundtrack.  So may just drop the live speaking after all.  Still unsure about end but settled on just carrying on off stage.

Surprisingly feel relatively calm.  I can’t do much more.  Produced clear plan for Dave and Dariusz.  Just have to trust that will work…

Sad that not more ‘liveness’ and worried now become too ‘set’  and has actually undermined the point of live collaboration.  Especially as Dariusz hid himself behind the curtains.  This surprised me.  Andy the mentor had suggested he not be so visible and Dariusz seemed to have taken that on but I’ve got used to him being onstage…at least at the beginning.  Emailed other performers to ask if anyone had video/photographer coming and if could share. Hannah kindly said yes.

Uuum.  Dress rehearsal and performance tomorrow…

10.3.11    Dress rehearsal and first performance!  Last night worked on an information sheet for ‘my time’ with ODF, Pegasus and ACE acknowledgement also biogs for me dariusz and Malcolm with website contacts.  Phoned printer in the morning and emailed document plus feedback forms for printing.  Last minute as usual!  Luckily they turned around job quickly for me.  Picked up print on way to Oxford.

10.3.11 Picked up Dariusz and equipment.  Dariusz still working on editing clips and rendering…Will we be ready? Pete came to help backstage with equipment.   Went through order of cues with Dariusz on laptop.  Clips still not in order…Dress rehearsal better than tech but still timing issues.  Between dress and performance again through cues with music and laptop.  Getting bossy and insisting that projection cues have to be tight.  Went over the moon scene clip in particular.

10.3.11Performance.  Dariusz did brilliantly.  Got all the cues.  It was me who got timing wrong!  Both laughed.  I spotted the moon already projected and thought it was already shrinking so shot over.  In fact it was just at the beginning of the clip still so I ended having to wait holding it for ages before the shrinking began.  Feedback generally good.  But I felt I hadn’t ‘inhabited’ my performance as fully as I should/could.  Hope better tomorrow.  With all feedback requests only managed to get.  1 written one on paper and then one emailed one.

11.3.11 Had a lie in and spent time with Alonso.  Just when about to go he got all clingy and weepy. Felt cross and frustrated and upset him.  Left later than planned but still on time.  Picked up Pete and Dariusz with equipment.  Dariusz been working on the landscape clip adding drifting cloud and changing colour of the sun. Got to the Pegasus.  Was supposed to be reception for invited guests.  I’d emailed Miranda day before to ask who had responded /was coming.  Not many.  Felt disappointed and annoyed I hadn’t chased people up personally too.  Had really hoped someone from the Ashmolean or MAO would be there also venues from other regions.  I guess they’re all busy and it’s too far to travel.  But really how else are they going to get a chance to see what Oxford artists are creating?  Frustrating and disappointing.  However, there were a few people.

Dariusz adding butterfly and birds to the landscape clip.  My family came and I spent a bit of time with Alonso.  Decided to watch the first section of the show sitting with Alonso –Anuradha and Jo lotts pieces.  Felt strange being in the auditorium and not back stage.  Wondered if it was a bad idea to do that but was nice to be able to see others work.  Just wish could have seen the other performances too.

Managed to get nervous, first night I didn’t have enough adrenalin.  Went better –especially moon clip bit but I didn’t think I was as strong in the spotlight and I don’t know if the audience filming came across.  However, generally felt good.  Segolene who was in audience both nights said this one was even better.  Had some very nice verbal feedback from other dancers and audience members.  Gary from OFVM came and was very positive –that was good as we borrowed some equipment (and he was able to take it back with him which great).  A lady who has rheumatoid arthritis came up to me and was very moved and felt piece was speaking directly to her. Mum just said she wished I would do something more lively next time…

Hope a few email fb will find their way in to my in box.  A few more bits of paper filled in.  Will try emailing a few people who actually came and see if they are willing to comment.  This arts council thing is certainly making me a lot more pushy!  Hope it doesn’t back fire.

Lots of paper work and tidying up to do now.

Dariusz still keen for us to continue developing piece and offering elsewhere which is great.  I have asked for us to select bits of rehearsal footage to have edited document of process.

14.3.11 A whole weekend since performance.  My hip /back bad.  Amazing how pain largely held off during run up to and actual peformances.  Have written a couple of emails requesting feedback from various people.  Feel a bit pushy and self important to do so but better now other wise they’ll have forgotten.

16.3.11 Had a meeting with Pete about my website yesterday and began to get a bit more idea how it works and what I can do with it.  Michelle Dickson wrote back yesterday –she missed the performance as left in the 2nd interval but she’s offered to watch video if we have one of the show and also said not a problem to have contacted.  Felt reassured about being pushy.

Dariusz didn’t record his live filming.  Feel disappointed about that.  But we hadn’t discussed it and as he said he could re create this.  I would rather just have it from when we were doing it.  I suppose there is an issue about ‘preciousness’ or ‘documentation’.

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