The Big Loadout

Time to fix some pesky cables before we pack down for the festival run.

It’s the last day in the studio for VIAPERFORMANCE before Illuminating York 2014…  And much to our surprise, all that’s left for us to do is to roll all the sound equipment around to the loading bay!

Everything else is pretty much good to roll – mostly thanks to our awesome lighting designer, Simon!

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Workshop Two…

We presume that the hole in the shiny suits is for emergency toilet access, but we’l have to check with our costume department! As you might be able to imagine, there has been a lot of clowning around so far. It would seem that spirits are high (or our performers are) as a result of costume-shenanigans.

Today’s workshop is the same format as last time, but with different, though equally delicious bread (made by Phil), the legacy of chocolate making, and a whole lot more… COSTUME!

We can’t show you much, because it’s secret… But we can promise that it’s going to look pretty damned cool.

Really looking forward to getting this show on the road.

On another note, we caught this picture of some suspicious looking cast members wearing our bags in town. We suppose that all publicity is good publicity after all…

 

 

Chocolate Making (with York Cocoa House)!

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Today we took our cast for a phenomenological experience at York Cocoa House, who invited us as part of our work together on Illuminate York 2014.

We told the cast that they’d be doing something deadly serious. Turned out that they were making chocolate! For the artists out there, reading this, Susan Kozel has some cool things to say about phenomenology and dance in this online lecture…

Returning to our own work, we had a great time and created some truly weird and wonderful flavours, including but not limited to, rose and lemon, multifruit, standard mint (for the unadventurous), chilli and salt (which was made with gorgeous Chilli Jam, made here in York) and (the ever popular) “goblin” (best not to ask).

Everyone had a blast and (we hope) the cast learned a lot about chocolate at the hands of the wonderful folk over at York Cocoa House.

York Cocoa House will also be making 50,000 free chocolates to hand out during our run of Then chocolate it shall be… And we’re rather excited about that!

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Workshop One…

Today the cast are busily meeting and greeting each other and we’re briefing them for the festival. Very excited to have them all here in our studio, ready to train.

This year we’re working with ten phenomenally dedicated, talented and committed dancer-performers.

Today’s luscious food is provided courtesy of Rich (who is actually a trained chef) (couscous salads, chocolates, crisps, fresh fruit juices, coffee, tea) and Phil, from Tarts and Titbits (Gillygate, York) (fresh backed Cheese and Chutney Bread as well as Spinnach and Mixed Seed Bread). If you haven’t been to the latter, we totally recommend it. It’s absolutely amazing in there. The bread is still cooling off!

Today’s agenda includes a whole lot of discussion, and a whole lot of dance work! Oh, and we’ve given the sat some stylish VIA bags. Because, no reason. Looks great though!

Stencils and Bags…

So the show is half a month away and what are we doing… We’re making stencils of course!

You have to have logos after all! And all of our flight cases do as well. This is one of the more fun, early production moments!

We meet the cast at the weekend and we though that we’d create for each of them a custom carry bag. Something to take away. We like DIY and we like hand crafting (it’s in our mandate) so here we go. Let’s make some cool bags and plan an awesome first workshop.

Here’s what they’ve come out like…

The Grand Depart… Tour De France 2014

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On a normal show day we’d be up at the crack of dawn, fitting the space and making sure vehicles were loaded or otherwise on site. Not today though.

No, today is the opening of the Tour De France, for which we have been commissioned to create a large scale, spectacular street theatre piece in the centre of York. It’s part of the Grand Depart and we’re thrilled to be working alongside fellow York based company (and band), Four Shadows.

This our first collaborative piece for a while and I (Kiran in this instance) am gutted that I am not even going to be there! As it turns out, I am at Sonisphere Festival, soaking up the sun, catching some incredible bands and doing a bit of audio research for our next show with VIAPERFORMANCE. Also, I might have booked my tickets the day before we were commissioned for the Tour De France.

At any rate, we designed the show throughout June and handed it over to Four Shadows on Friday, and it’s all been left in the capable hands of my wonderful co-director Rich (whilst I drink this really warm beer in a baking tent).

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But here’s the twist…

(Perhaps to make things more exciting) Rich managed to slice off the end of his finger last night (oh, those capable hands)! It doesn’t help that he’s our (and Four Shadow’s) drummer, so this isn’t exactly good news. However, he assures me that he’s got some crazy drum loops to substitute his injured paw, and that he’s not too tired from a night in A&E!

We’re sure that he’ll be fine!

Oh, and, due to advanced pedestrianization and the huge crowds of spectators gathering in York, our “vehicles” have been switched for  flatbed wagons, to be pulled by the crew.  We’re 99% confident that they’ll be fine with it, even if Rich can’t lend them (insert drum roll here – or not, as the case may be) a hand.

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So we’re one director down and one hand short, but it’s hardly going to stop us. We’re lucky to have an incredibly dedicated cast and some fantastic collaborators. On top of which, we feel great. In fact, we had a trial day yesterday and we received word from our commissioners at City of York Council and the Tour De France that it’s all good, it’s looking and sounding great. In fact, from what I’ve seen online, it looks pretty awesome!

We’re expecting huge crowds today, about 20,000 people! Oh, and we’re being televised by ITV and the BBC. So here’s to hoping that the weather’s good!

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