South American Diaries
Friday 21 Jun 2019
Chapter #3 Peru - Home of the Incas and more bread for moi.
by Luigi Nardone (Company Dancer)
The theatre in Peru was STUNNING! A huge space, gorgeously designed and amazing sound. Both shows went amazingly well. About 30 seconds before the curtain came up on the first show, Johanna's costume ripped just above her bum! It was so funny, all of a sudden we were headless chickens laughing and thinking of what to do. Of course Dani was on it and all was fine.
RITUALIA felt completely different in Peru to how it did at the beginning of the tour. It felt more confident and unapologetic. The stage really felt like a complete parallel universe inhabited by high fashion robots. Matthew compared the piece to part of the Anish Kapoor exhibition we saw in Chile, saying that his pieces just exist, they don't know how to be confident or shy. Kieran did an insanely good job at jumping into his new role and completely tearing up the stage.
TuTuMucky also felt consistently powerful, I'm surprised that we managed to give it so much energy everytime given how tired we were, and how we managed to keep the "Haka" as loud as we did! I think we really did nourish ourselves from each other's energy and determination on stage.
The last show of the tour was also Harry's final show as a full time member of Scottish Dance Theatre. *cries*. After the show we drank Prosecco (which is not the same as Brut) and went to a delicious restaurant by the shore to celebrate. I think I can safely say it was one of the most divine and completely delectable meals I've ever eaten.
The next day we began the journey home, but there was still enough time in the morning for Harry to go surfing. Me and Matthew watched from the safety of the restaurant on the pier with mimosas in hand, singing the hit song "more bread for moi". It felt like a good time for the tour to end, and the perfect time for a three week holiday!
We ended the tour in high spirits, it was a very successful few weeks with only a few minor disasters... But luckily we had an amazing team who handled everything brilliantly. It's an amazing reminder that SDT owes everything it has to the people who have dedicated their time and lives towards its success, working behind the scenes to maintain our strength and unity as a family. Endless love to all of you. x
Chapter #2 The Perfect Postcard from Santiago, Chile.
by Jessie Roberts-Smith (Company Dancer)
Just as I sat on the edge of my bed to begin writing this a rope swung into view outside my hotel window.
It taps a little against the glass and then a pair of walking boots and a bucket lower into view. It’s made all the more dramatic because of our perfect postcard panorama!
On arrival, after a long day of travel, we were each greeted with an almost wall to wall window framing Santiago glittering in the darkness. After pretending I was in a piece by Shunt Collective* (where the audience stand with headphones and binoculars to watch the action in an office block opposite) I flopped into bed with the blind fully up and let the romantic twinkle and distant hum of cars below lull me to sleep. But there were multiple gasps and excited shoogles - it can’t just have been me! - as each of us lifted our weary heads or pulled up our blinds to reveal a panoramic vista of the ANDEAN MOUNTAINS rising serene and majestic from the from behind the high rise cityscape. And. They were snow capped and lit like a film! They’re so huge it’s like they’re in the room or at least close enough to touch, like I could reach out and run my hand along the ridge (from the comfort of my bed!)
So not only am I getting to perform in city I’ve always wanted to visit, but we’re getting to appreciate his cities incredible geographical setting! And now, third day in , back at the hotel between shows, I get to enjoy it while waving at smiling chilean man cleaning my window to preserve the view, polish the postcard shot that we’ll all be sending home! I watch him swing about splashing and then polishing and realise that a) I was intending to have a shower and seem to have taken my trousers off and b) my legs are bouncing against the side of the bed in excitement at my private aerial performance. He nods at me like a superhero, mission complete, and then nods again with approval at the flowers that sit next to me by the bed. It’s not just the air that’s cool down here in the southern hemisphere! And then he winches down and out of view.
I had also planned a nap but now I was too excited to snooze so I pulled on my trousers and puffer jacket and headed out to the theatre humming the ‘doobiedoobies’ of Stravinsky (Ritualia) as my new favourite mountains fade away into the dimming light and I wonder what Chile will think of the Doublebill tonight!
Chapter #1 Bats and Braids in Bucaramanga
by Adrienne O'Leary (Company Dancer)
Colombia! What a place. We've just finished the first leg of our South American tour in Bucaramanga. The week has absolutely flown by. I feel we settled in quite naturally - thanks in most part to humongous amounts of translation from Joan and Oscar (and Jessie?). The first couple of days eased us in with a gorgeous and incredibly sweaty class from Matthew Robinson who is accompanying us as RD on this tour. This and what seemed like a constant flow of delicious Colombian coffee had us flying.
Joan, Oscar and I had the pleasure of holding a workshop for a group of 41(!) beautiful dancers from the Escuela Municipal de Artes. Over 3 hours we covered improv scores related to the 'the braid' from Colette Sadler's Ritualia. I loved the dancers sensitivity to each other, their openness and the group architectures they created. We then flipped the switch entirely by teaching some phrases from Botis Sevas' TuTuMucky and witnessed the dancers passion to move. It was an inspiring few hours and I am so grateful to the dancers for their infectious enthusiasm.
We had a wonderful audience for our first performance at the newly refurbished Teatro Santander where we were treated so well. A great kickstart to the tour. I had a slightly too close for comfort encounter with some local bats. To finish the week off some of the dancers went on a trek to a village in the mountains while some of us sampled the cocktails at a rooftop pool - to help acclimatise for the altitude in Bogotá of course...