Two days with the RSC! Movement and choreography in Shakespearean theatre

Two days with the RSC! Movement and choreography in Shakespearean theatre


The students have been great, they’ve been
absolutely joyous and completely up for having an adventure and a good time so I’ve been
challenging them to do character work and kind of acting choices through physicality
but also we’ve been dancing and we’ve been creating as well. The great thing about this week is the students
have been able to go and see King John which is the production that I worked on and have
been working with them on those ideas from that show and the movement is a quite integral
part of the piece, it kind of brings a life to it, brings a style and an energy and it
kind of threads through the whole piece so I think it’s been really good for them to
be able to see how music can be approached to enliven a production or give it a style
or flavour. Seeing it live was amazing. To see how they
had changed it to be a sixties theme and made it mobster. I really enjoyed learning the
dance from King John because we actually saw the show yesterday and seeing that all being
put to life with costumes and lighting and staging it sort of really showed you how something
can be developed in the rehearsal room and then put on stage. We’ve done movement and more physical stuff
in the first semester and now naturalism in the second semester but this workshop was
very much a blend of the two so it was looking at more physicality and how we can bring it
to character work and general techniques for devising which is really useful to get a different
view on how to go about devising and rehearsing that we wouldn’t necessarily get in our practical
lessons. This workshop has been a really good way of
thinking about movement alongside naturalism. Doing movement doesn’t necessarily mean it’s
not naturalistic. Movement can be a great way of bringing energy
to a piece, especially when looking at undergraduate students and kind of taking something slightly
more visceral and physical – a different approach to looking at text, looking at Shakespeare
and looking at the world of a piece instead of just looking at the text. In King John, there’s a bit at the start where
it’s a lot like a sixties television show, so Tom talked about how he took inspiration
from that. It’s all about character and introducing characters
and bringing style to the beginning of a piece. We decided to make our own family groups of
famous families and make our own sixties-style television show opening which was really really
fun. He’s amazing, he’s really funny, he’s really
good at making us feel at ease and very good at explaining how to do the work, how to get
the character and become the character. I knew that there was some kind of relationship
between UoB and the RSC but I didn’t know that we’d get to come and do workshops with
professionals and come and get to do shows so easily. It’s nice to get out of the department and
have different views from different practitioners on how we can work and make our own pieces
better.

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