I have had an enjoyable, fulfilling time with Earthfall. I have looked at three specific sections of the company, education, marketing and the rehearsal process. I feel I have learnt a great deal from each section. Although I enjoyed learning about the marketing and the education outreach of the company I feel I benefitted most from having time in the rehearsal space and having conversations with all members of the company. I have had a fun time benefitting and learning a lot from everybody that I came into contact with. My experience with Earthfall has helped mentally prepare me for what I will be faced with after graduation.
This opportunity was highly beneficial to me as I got to witness what it means to be a dancer in a professional company. I observed that one must always be ready and willing to be creative in the rehearsal space and one must always be kind and supportive of fellow colleges. Through my experience I started to learn how to conduct myself and have conversations as a professional. This experience has benefitted me by teaching me about what is happening in Cardiff and whom I can contact in order to set myself up as a dancer in Wales.
I learnt a great deal about the large amount of work that goes into running a company, and I realise that I only scraped the surface of everything that goes on. From having casual conversations with members of the company I have learnt a bit about payment. From these conversations I have gained knowledge about how I should value myself as a dancer and how much I should expect to be paid for a job, an aspect that I knew little on before. This topic is helpful to learn about because without this knowledge it would be easy to be taken advantage of and get underpaid and therefore not earn a wage that I could reasonably live on. I have learnt more at Earthfall about what will happen once I have graduated and moved back to Cardiff then I have at university.
I was not expecting to take part in Earthfall’s social media output; this was a shock but a fun challenge for me. I learnt about how important social media is in order to reach an audience. Through social media you can connect to an audience and make them feel involved in your processes, which is important. I will continue to improve on this aspect. This task was challenging for me as I had to write in the context for a professional company and this would be seen by people who invest their time and interest in Earthfall.
I did not have much of an expectation of what my experience in the office would be before I started my placement. I did assume that during rehearsal times I would be sat on the side just observing, so that I would not get in the way. I was pleasantly surprised when I was asked to constantly be in the space and involved with the dancers. This made me feel like part of the group and contributed to me being comfortable in interacting with the dancers. I was expecting more of my time to be spent in the office rather then the studio. I really appreciated that the staff recognised that I really enjoyed being in the studio and allowed me have more engagement with that side of my placement.
A really positive point about my experience is that everyone in the company was really nice, welcoming and supportive. This experience has given me guidance in what I can do and who I can talk to in order to set myself up as a professional dancer in Wales. Everyone’s support went beyond my experience within the company and has helped me in understanding processes I shall have to take once I leave the placement and graduate university.
An aspect I struggled with was working on the Study Pack (an education resource that accompanies each production) on the first day as I had no idea about what the production, Stories from a Crowded Room, was about and therefore I felt I couldn’t contribute effectively. However this issue was recognised and addressed, it became a lot easier for me once I had been involved within the rehearsals and got an understanding of what the piece was about and where the ideas for the choreography had stemmed from.
I have really enjoyed my time at Earthfall. What I really appreciate about Earthfall is that they are a company that takes really good care of their employees and dancers. I left everyday feeling happy, excited and inspired to get dancing. I would be incredibly honoured and really hope that I will get a chance to work with Earthfall in the future. Everybody that I met was just so nice and welcoming. I wish I had a place to personally say how wonderful each member of the company was. I will do my best to stay in contact with everyone, because to not do would be a great loss to me.
We are now in to our fourth week of rehearsals, having moved from WNO to Cathedral School.
The past few weeks have been at the WNO rehearsal space in Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay. It has been a busy few weeks with visits from Coleg Sir Gar students and last week invited rehearsal guests. The set is up and is looking very exciting as Mike Brooks and Giles Parberry experiment with the visual design. Here is a photo gallery of some of the shots over the past few weeks.
The dancers and musicians have been working tirelessly to create the piece and are looking forward to Thursday’s session with rehearsal guests to try out some of the movement. Because the audience are in the space for the performance it is important for the dancers to have these sessions so they can get used to working with bodies in the space. It is also useful as it allows the team to see how audience react to certain elements of the performance, to try out new things and to analyse what does and doesn’t work.
With less than four weeks to go until our first performance at Galeri, Caernarfon we are looking forward to getting back on the road.
Book tickets here:
Stories from a Crowded Room is under way, with the first week of rehearsal taking place down at the WNO rehearsal rooms.
Returning from the R&D period in Sept/Oct 2014, we have our 5 Earthfall Dancers:
They are joined by previous Earthfall dancers
We are also delighted to welcome back
Alongside them will be
Our two wonderfully talented musicians who worked with the dancers during the R&D. You can find out all about them by visiting our Biography page.
Week 1 has been an intense period for the dancers, and team. This is the largest production Earthfall have worked on and the piece is a new style of performing with the dancers moving fast and close around audience who are in the space with them
Great to be back in rehearsals and we can’t wait to tour Wales in May. See full tour dates and book tickets here.
My name is David Johnson; I have just taken over as Touring and Development Officer here at Earthfall. I have been engaging with the arts for most of my life. As a lifelong musician I have performed as part of many
projects across the UK. I spent many years living in Manchester where I was able to develop some great community art projects. While studying at University I initiated a community Samba project; we delivered workshops in Primary Schools and Young Offenders Centres and regularly played sets at some of Manchester’s club nights. I also took advantage of Manchester’s vibrant arts scene and ran a regular night of music, poetry and drama.
I used these experiences to spend three years working with Manchester City Council. The focus of my role was to deliver music workshops to adults with a wide range of learning disabilities in one of Manchester’s most deprived areas. I am passionate about increasing access to the arts for people with disabilities. I have worked with some amazing artists who are committed to making sure the arts do not become inaccessible to vulnerable groups.
I have recently returned from living in Barcelona for two years. During this time I was able to learn Spanish and work as a language teacher and a proof-reader. I also linked up with a Spanish Language theatre company and developed the score for their production 9 Metros. I returned to the UK absolutely committed to working for a creative and challenging company, which shared my passion for creativity and community engagement. I am thrilled to have joined the team at Earthfall; I am inspired by their previous works I am very excited by their plans for the future. I was drawn to Earthfall for a number of reasons. Their work is energetic, unusual and challenges the audience to interpret the narrative themselves. I love the more experimental side of film, music and theatre and was impressed by Earthfall’s use of fantastic live scores and progressive work in film.
Everyone at Earthfall has been really welcoming and I am enjoying discovering Cardiff and all it has to offer in the arts.
Follow David on Twitter @davidJonson_
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