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.
Introducing Gill Banks
Gill Banks is a talented artist working on inspiration from Earthfall’s 25 year archive of image, film, dance, notes, photos, stories and interviews with Artistic Directors Jessica Cohen and Jim Ennis.
Earthfall have a history of working with Visual Artists from University of South Wales (previously University of Glamorgan) and this year we are delighted to be hosting the wonderful Gill Banks as an artist in residence. (See The Factory / At Swim Two Boys)
As this is our 25th year, we thought it would be a great project for her to look at the history of Earthfall and create a piece of artwork based on this as inspiration. Gill has spent a long time going through videos, images, notebooks, stories, personal histories as well as interviewing our Artistic Directors Jessica Cohen and Jim Ennis. The placement takes place over three month from Dec 2014 – Feb 2015 and will culminate in a presentation of her work through digital channels with the potential of an exhibition.
In her own words:
“I hesitate to describe myself as a mature student. My art is a long way from being mature. Finally free to pursue my passion, I’m at last a student, joining the University of South Wales at its birth. So, here we both are, the University and I, both old and new at the same time.”
You can find out more about Gill at her website: http://gillbanksartstudent.tumblr.com/or follow her on Twitter @gillbanksart
Earthfall is seeking a new member of staff to join the core team.
Earthfall enters its 25th year of activity in 2014/15 and is seeking a creative thinking Development / Touring Officer to join the producing team. In 2015, the company will be producing a new mid-scale work, which will tour the UK (including a London season), with potential mainland European touring.
The Role would suit someone who has some experience of working in the arts and wishes to develop their experience in a general management / producing role. Earthfall is committed to providing personal and professional development opportunities for its entire staff.
Click below for full role and personal specification:
DEVELOPMENT OFFICER ROLE (word)
Please send a full CV and a covering letter by email only, outlining your reasons for wanting to work with Earthfall, along with your professional experience and how it relates to the role, to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put the title DEVELOPMENT OFFICER in the subject line.
CV’s and accompanying letters must be received by noon on Monday 5th January 2015.
Earthfall led a week long residency with Coleg Ceredigion performing arts students, involving dance, physical theatre and music.
Over a period of five days, students under the direction of Earthfall’s artisitc team, devised a body of physical performances entitled Time is Constant. The team leading the project included Jessica Cohen, Co-artistic Director, Daniel Connor (At Swim Two Boys) , Rosalind Haf Brooks (Gravitas, Gig, The Factory, Chelsea Hotel, Stories from a Crowded Room) and musician and technician
The performance is based on the students’own personal family trees and what they would put in a box that they wanted to leave as a memory of themselves including their most treasured items. The work discusses themes such as ‘what would be their last words when they only had a little breath left?’, and the work also took into account different conflicts from around the world, such as current struggles in places like Ukraine and Syria.
“This is the second year running that we have been lucky enough to distract Earthfall from their busy international schedule to get them to work alongside our theatre and dance students to create a show,”explained Ashley Wallington, curriculum manager for the performing arts at Coleg Ceredigion. “Once again the experience has been incredible for all involved – the process and performance work has been exciting, cutting edge and life changing. Together they have created everything from scratch in a week, including choreography, lyrics, design and all of the musical composition. None of the students will ever make a show in the same way again.”
Jessica Cohen, artistic director of Earthfall commented: “It was great to come back for a second year and once again the students were absolutely fantastic to work with. Enthusiastic, talented and hard-working, we couldn’t have asked for a better group. We get just as much out of it as we hope they do, and we are looking forward to continuing our relationships with Coleg Ceredigion in the future. The work we do with these students directly help us feed into our next production Stories from a Crowded Room, which will tour from Spring 2015 onwards.”
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