Transitions 2018: Q&A with company member Paola Drera

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with dance artist Paola Drera.

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How does it feel to be dancing with Transitions as it celebrates its 35th year of touring?

It’s an honour to be part of Transitions. Not many dancers in Europe have the chance to experience an MA in dance performance and I feel privileged to be a trannie in such an important moment for the company.

What can audiences expect from the Triple Bill?

The audience should expect emotions, physicality and visual effects.

What is your favourite piece to perform and why?

I don’t have a favourite piece. I love how all of three challenge me in a different way.

In Jarkko Partenen’s Lovers your vision is reduced/restricted as a condition of the work. What’s that like to perform?

Touching and hearing become essential. You start to look through your palms. You realise people are close to you because of their breathing, the sound of their feet and the movement of their costume. It is fascinating how other senses counteract the lack of vision.

What are you most looking forward to ahead of the tour?

I look forward to performing with my fellow dancers. They have become my new family here in London and we can’t wait to show what we have discovered in this past 13 weeks of the creative process.

 

By Robyn Donnelly (Press & PR)

 

Transitions 2018 Tour | 19 February – 24 May

For full tour details and to find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/transitionsdc

To find out more about studying dance at Trinity Laban, visit our pages.

 

Walk This Way

Transitions Dance Company is out on the road performing a triple bill of new works, including Award-winning Israeli choreographer Hagit Yakira’s The Ar/ct of Moving Forward.

The simple yet energetic piece is inspired by London’s ‘unspoken rule’ of constant forward motion, and sees the dancers embark on a nonstop journey of walking.

That got us thinking about other famous dance moves inspired by the walk…

9. Powering into the line up is The Strut, embodied by Queen Bey

Look at the catwalk action and hairography!

 

8. Elegantly gliding into 8th is ballet’s ‘Classical Walk’

Noble and graceful, it’s how ballet dancers move on stage when not doing a jeté or pirouetting.

 

7. Flashing back to the seventies at 7 is the Stayin’ Alive Swagger

Well you can tell by the way they walk that Beyoncé was not the first to werk it…

 

6. “Any time you’re Lambeth way, Any evening, any day, You’ll find us all Doing the Lambeth Walk.”

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This Cockney dance craze was first made popular in 1937 by Lupino Lan, and even featured in the musical Me and My Girl.

 

5. Stick on your cowboy boots and get walking to some country music

Look at Alan and Sonia giving their best grapevine as part of the ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ Line Dance!

 

4. Taking it to another level is Trisha Brown’s Walking on the Wall (1971)

Re-created at the Barbican in 2012, the dancers spurn gravity to walk on the walls of the performance space!

 

3. Hitting the gym has never been so fun…

Check out the full video of ‘Here It Goes Again’ to be amazed by more treadmill choreography from Ok Go.

 

2. John Sergeant’s infamous Paso Doble ‘Stomp’

Known to Strictly Come Dancing fans everywhere…the drag and walk! Not necessarily a traditional latin move but memorable nonetheless.

 

1. And top of our list….the iconic Moonwalk courtesy of Michael Jackson

Nailing it.

 

If our countdown has whetted your appetite for some more walk-dancing, then book your ticket for Transitions Dance Company Tour 2018 to see Hagit Yakira’s The Ar/ct of Moving Forward alongside two more brilliant new works.

 

And now, in the words of RuPaul, it’s time for us to….

Transitions: Q&A with company member Orion Hart

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with dance artist Orion Hart.

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Image: Orion Hart (Credit: Chris Nash)

How does it feel to be dancing with Transitions as it celebrates its 35th year of touring?

It feels quite amazing to be part of something that has such an extensive history and has produced so many fantastic dance artists. I consider myself very privileged to have been given this opportunity and so far it has been an incredibly enriching experience.

What can audiences expect from the Triple Bill?

The line-up of the pieces in our Triple Bill is definitely very diverse, ranging from the simple beauty of human experience, through to the raw physicality of animal instinct, and even going as far as the downright whacky and absurd. I think that there is something for everyone in there.

What is your favourite piece to perform and why?

I would say that I have the most fun performing the piece choreographed by Jarkko Partanen. We perform the entire work unable to see which makes it both exciting and scary and it’s never the same twice.

What are you most looking forward to ahead of the tour?

I’m really looking forward to how the pieces will develop and shift once we begin to perform them in front of live audiences. It’s my opinion that you can only rehearse something so much and that once you put it in front of an audience is when it really begins to take on a new life.

Transitions will be running a workshop at Rubicon, ahead of your performance at Dance House, Cardiff. What will it be like to return to where you trained?

Rubicon Dance was where I first really began to find my feet as a contemporary dancer and I owe the teachers there so much. It will be great to be able to return to share with the teachers and students some of what I’ve experienced since I left.

 

By Robyn Donnelly (Press & PR)

 

Transitions 2018 Tour | 19 February – 24 May

For full tour details and to find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/transitionsdc

To find out more about studying dance at Trinity Laban, visit our pages.

 

Transitions 2018: Q&A with choreographer Hagit Yakira

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with award-winning Israeli choreographer, Hagit Yakira, who worked with the company on brand new piece ‘The Ar/ct of Moving Forward’. 

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What have you most enjoyed about working with the Transitions dancers?

The energy, lack of pretentiousness, curiosity, commitment, team work. The company dancers were there for the research – and this is truly magical – especially for the way that I work.

The 2018 company is truly international – do you think this has had an impact on the style of the company and/or the way you worked with them?

It does have an impact, of course! This diversity of people, cultures and educations adds acceptance, dialogues, flexibility. It locates oneself in a broader context and I think it encourages humility, which I find truly important.

In brief, how would you sum up your piece?

It’s about the act of moving forward – literally and poetically.

What was your inspiration behind the work?

My main inspiration was London and the fact that I feel there is an unspoken rule here which is the necessity to move forward. Any hesitation, suspension, pausing is an interference for London’s practicality. London is of course is prototype for something broader – I didn’t want the piece to convey this in a direct or literal way. I wanted to find a poetic, physical and metaphorical way to work with the idea of moving forward, with traveling, with time and with the dancers. I wanted them to be seen as individuals – 14 individuals who form a group.

You utilise improvisation in the piece the work. How have the dancers reacted to this and what do you hope the end result will be?

It wasn’t easy. The way I work with improvisation is very specific, it’s extremely physical and requires the dancers to be fully engaged and all the time. It is a constant battle for the body and the mind but in a good way. It is a constant challenge, but a good and rewarding one. One of the dancers mentioned it was as if he was reborn through the process.

The result of that is an autonomy the dancers will experience every time they will perform on stage. The piece will keep evolving – the details, the precessions, the listening to one another – and much more will become better and better, and this will allow the dancers an amazing sense of progression and self-reflection.

Transitions was the very first student touring company and recently celebrated 35 years. Do you think it has had an impact/what impact do you think it has had on the dance landscape?

I believe that the importance of Transitions Dance Company is that it still exists, still vibrant and alive. It is also a platform in which very talented dancers could and can emerge from; they come out from this year very knowledgeable. It helps them be very well prepared for the professional world – in terms of physicality but also in terms of work ethics and maturity.

You were the very first choreographer to work with the 2017/18 company. What was it like to work with such a fresh company?

It was great! The dancers were open, curious, committed and were fully there, body and mind, every day. They were so receptive of me and my work and the research I had offered them. They were totally in it, with it. It was truly inspiring. There was a real sense of growth in this short (very short) process, individually and as a group.

 

By Robyn Donnelly (Press & PR)

 

Transitions 2018 Tour | 19 February – 24 May

For full tour details and to find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/transitionsdc

To find out more about studying dance at Trinity Laban, visit our pages.

Transitions 2018: Q&A with company member Kieran Covell

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with dance artists and company member Kieran Covell.

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Image: Kieran Covell (Credit: Chris Nash)

How does it feel to be dancing with Transitions as it celebrates its 35th year of touring?

I feel very fortunate and lucky to be a part of this fantastic company! It’s been a fun and exciting experience creating the three pieces for our tour and I look forward to seeing what’s in store when we set off!

What can audiences expect from the Triple Bill?

They can expect energy, relationships and a clear sense of story driven movement material. Each company member has embodied the three pieces with their own artistic voice, so it will be interesting to see how each performance will be and how it evolves over the length of the tour.

What is your favourite piece to perform and why?

My favourite piece has been “The Art of Moving Forward” by Hagit Yakira! Her unique and vibrant personality along with her extensive choreographic knowledge have not only made me enjoy the piece and process of making it, but inspired me to think about how I can use my own voice to perform and what performance means for me.

What are you most looking forward to ahead of the tour?

Travelling to different locations and experiencing the different atmospheres of each place. I’m also looking forward to experiencing how a professional company tour works and the different roles and responsibilities that everyone will have during the processes.

You were a BOA student and have frequently performed in Birmingham. What’s it like to perform in the city and what will it be like to be performing there with Transitions?

Performing in my own city has always been important to me, not just as a dancer but as an artist. The experiences I had in this city have shaped who I am today and got me to this point in time. I am really looking forward to going back and seeing just how much the dance industry has changed and also reminiscing about my own journey that started in Birmingham.

 

By Robyn Donnelly (Press & PR)

Transitions 2018 Tour | 19 February – 24 May

For full tour details and to find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/transitionsdc

To find out more about studying dance at Trinity Laban, visit our pages.

Variety of Uses for Sports Massage

What is sports massage? 

Sports massage is a type of therapy that focuses on the soft tissues in the body. This includes skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments and fascia which is a form of connective tissue that lines other soft tissues. Sports massage involves the manipulation of these soft tissues and can also include different massage techniques and types of stretching

 

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Image: Sports massage, JK Photography 

What is sports massage suitable for?

Sports massage can be suitable for dealing with many different conditions from sport related overuse issues, to back pain from your office chair. These benefits can be split into four main areas; injury, maintenance, pre-event and post-event.

Injury:  Sports massage has many benefits that can help reduce the risk of injury as well as be used for remedial purposes to help reduce tightness and pain. Sports massage is great at helping to detect muscular imbalances and any potential deep tissue damage which can result in a reduced risk of injury. A key benefit of sports massage is increasing blood flow through the tissues which can lead to faster recovery times and reduce the delayed onset of muscle soreness (or DOMS for short).

Maintenance: Having regular massages can help to keep muscles healthy and supple and can reduce the need for future treatment. Studies have shown that having regular sports massages can help to improve range of motion and flexibility. This in itself can also contribute to lowering injury risk, especially among dancers, for whom flexibility is desired. Having regular massages can also help to identify any particular areas of tension or stress and can increase your overall awareness and education surrounding your body. This can in turn help you to improve your performance and self-manage any conditions you have.

Pre-event: Feeling nervous and tense before a show or performance? Sports massage can stimulate circulation through the body and reduce tension which can be beneficial to help you be on top form before that audition!

Post-event: Sports massage can be just as useful after an event! It can help speed up recovery times, remove toxins and waste products from the body, de-stress you and help fight any delayed muscle soreness you may feel the following day. 

 

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Image: Sports massage, JK Photography 

Sports massage is one of those treatments which can be used in a variety of different ways, and is most effective when used regularly. So whether your a performer, office worker or athlete sports massage can be a useful tool to help maintain a healthy body and banish those tense muscles when they arise!

 

Written by Rebecca Appleton 

Graduate Intern for Health 

 

 

 

 

Transitions 2018: Q&A with choreographer Richard Chappell

Ahead of Transitions’ 2018 international tour, we caught up with renowned British choreographer Richard Chappell who worked with the company on brand new piece ‘When running starts and stops’. 

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What have you most enjoyed about working with the Transitions dancers?

I would say their generosity in working with me. I like to work with a mix of improvisation and task-based work which I think is a hybrid of my own training and the dancers have adapted to that with a lot of energy and willingness to challenge themselves. As it’s relatively early on in their academic year, they’ve got to know each other throughout the creation process and this has been a real pleasure to be a part of. They bring their own skills, styles and qualities to the work as well and it’s been a pleasure to get to know them.

The 2018 company is truly international – do you think this has had an impact on the style of the company and/or the way you worked with them?

Definitely! Training isn’t necessarily the same across countries so naturally there will be differences and it’s such a unique and enriching experience for them to learn from each other. Lots of the company don’t have traditional dance backgrounds either which I think is really interesting. My own background is ballet and contemporary dance, but I’m also influenced by forms of capoeira, improvisation and martial arts so I like that the dancers come with different movement qualities as it allows for a varied interpretation of my practice. But for all the diversity, I think there is a good balance in skills which combine nicely when the company work together.

In brief, how would you sum up your piece?

My piece is a movement response to the themes and relationships of some of the characters found in Watership Down. I’ve used moments in the text and narrative as a point of departure to create something which lives by itself outside of the story though. The work has its own journey and abstract narrative between the performers and involves a lot of physically challenging movement.

What was your inspiration behind the work?

The work is influenced by Richard Adams’ Watership Down, but it’s not a literal interpretation. I wanted to bring out elements of the relationships between the characters and how their personification makes them relatable to us as a people. Themes of the book such as death, struggle and migration have immense resonance with us as human beings at the moment, and I wanted to explore that sense of personal struggle and journey with the dancers. I work a lot with text and this is a book which I’ve recently rediscovered throughout the creation process which has been a joy to explore, especially as Adams passed away last year.

Why did you decide to do this particular piece with Transitions?

I’ve had the idea for the work in my mind since last year when Adams passed away. The book had an immense impact of some formative moments of my childhood and when I came to really unpicking it, I felt that the energy and themes really suited Transitions. They’re at the start of a really exciting artistic journey and I think it’s a special time to work off a story which resonates both with childlike fantasies and very raw and power human emotions, such as loss, suffering and family.

Transitions was the very first student touring company and recently celebrated 35 years. Do you think it has had an impact/what impact do you think it has had on the dance landscape?

Student companies allow dancers to process their training to date and it’s also an incredibly formative time within a person’s career and life. I know from friends and colleagues experiences’ that they grew as performers and dance artists during their time within various student companies and it’s also a prime opportunity to gain insight into working in a professional repertory company. I’ve had the privilege of working with several graduates from Transitions and its impact on the international dance seen is I’m sure felt by everyone in a very positive way.

It’s almost impossible to get gigs in the industry without having some kind of professional experience, so companies like Transitions offer that bridge and allow for dancers to learn new skills and challenge themselves in a supportive environment, whilst connecting with makers who have a direct interest in working with artists at the beginning of their careers. It’s something I’m very supportive of and feel strongly about. Since 2014, I have always employed recent graduates in my own company.

 

By Robyn Donnelly (Press & PR)

 

Transitions 2018 Tour | 19 February – 24 May

For full tour details and to find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/transitionsdc

To find out more about studying dance at Trinity Laban, visit our pages.