That's it! Things are definitely rolling along now. We have published all the opportunities available at 'Dance Artists' for all the people to fill the skills, talents and expertise needed to facilitate fabulous productions of ballet-theatre! You’ll find them all on TheatreBristol.net as well as our pages on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We’ve already generated some interest, and it’s only been a couple of days. Hopefully, we’ll have a full team all ready and raring to go by the end of the year.
Our first production is going to be a traditional classic, the romantic ballet ‘Giselle’ – and while the choreography will be as original as it can be, we’re going to be adding a new edge to how we light it, the technology we use and from the dance perspective in how the characters will be portrayed. We’ve designed this version for small to medium theatres so that the drama unfolding on stage for everyone who watches can be seen and ‘felt’ – so that the deep love between the two main characters transcends across the stage and uplifts our audiences! However, with Act 2 we have some great new ideas to convey the love of the spirit world and life hereafter in a more positive light – and that is where our version transgresses from the original. There is no death and vengeance or hatred here – just love, compassion, kindness and forgiveness. Technically, our audiences will be a bit more ‘in the production’ itself, so that they can really get to feel that they are in the story, right there!!
We’ve also put out notices for dancers to join West Coast Ballet Theatre, which is the material on which we’ll all be using our skills and talents on and with. A beautiful collaboration between the backstage and the onstage teams to bring ballet-theatre to life in new and exciting ways! We hope to have all our dancers ready and raring to start rehearsing by the end of this year too!
I wish something like this was around in my early explorative years – where I had to go it alone and have to compete with people who had ‘connections’ or money/wealth, were family friends or favourites. I am from a working class background and right now dogged with over a dozen medical conditions and disability which hinders my life quality to some degree. But I am determined that I am not going to let all this get the best of me – I am going to continue to hone my own talents, while at the same time, with other like-minded creative people, serve to provide others with the opportunities to hone and develop their talents too! That might be students who want some ‘real’ work to put onto their portfolio; graduates who want to build a portfolio – and find it ever difficult to get paid work while they have to work at a day job! Getting valuable experience and evidence to attach to your portfolio can only but benefit their chances, rather than just waiting for the dream paid job to come along. This is all voluntary (expenses negotiated), so this is nothing about ‘using’ anyone and exploiting them by not paying them – this is first and foremost a thriving cultural and arts organisation that while not operated for profits seeks to give artists the opportunity to hone their work in an environment reflective of their aspired vocation. Having said that, there are also people who are experienced professionals who will want to work with us, just because they want to, and for many reasons including sharing their knowledge, because they don’t get to do enough substantially creative work in their permanent paid position, they want to extend themselves and don’t get the opportunity to in their current workplace, or because they want to change their skill-set. There are also people who just love working in semi-professional amateur live theatre and are highly skilled, have a skilled day job in some other career, but love their theatre work with a passion – and are also highly skilled and knowledgeable so they have a lot of expertise to offer. This sort of work will, for everyone concerned, be a passion – something they are drawn to do and feel that it is the only thing that makes them feel alive. Whatever the reason – we’re happy to have you on board.
I believe things are going to be a lot of fun for everyone involved. Not just silly fun, but fun that is immensely enjoyable, rewarding and fulfilling on so many levels. And fun in the way of being able to have raw ideas shared and brought to life – and seeing that happen before your eyes. It doesn’t get better than that. I am so looking forward to getting started, but most of all to meet up with and find this wonderful ‘team’ of people who all have the same aspirations regarding live theatre and truly believe in theatre being a ‘gift to the audiences who come to see the production’. Not just what the dancers are doing on the stage, but all the creative aspects that help to tell the story/narrative unfolding in a beautiful, loving, joyous and wonderful way.
Creative Producer of ‘Dance Artists’ and Artistic Director/Principal Choreographer of West Coast Ballet Theatre