I’ve never done ensemble work before I came to this program. I’m new to theater, as in I performed in my first play a handful of months ago, and decided that diving head first into an intensive program like this was a good idea. And, despite how daunting that choice was, I couldn’t be happier with that decision.
During Georgia’s first workshop, we worked specifically on the chorus work. I’ve done chorus work once before and most of it was fumbling around on our own to figure out how to speak and move in synchronization. The workshop on chorus work was by far the most difficult one for me so far. However, it wasn’t difficult in a physical or technical way. We practiced moving together as one and being able to read each other out of our peripherals.
It took a long time but I learned a lot from that workshop. The micro movements and cues people naturally give when moving can take a long while to see and when you do finally see them; you cannot over exaggerate them in the slightest. We practiced a lot of different techniques to try to perfect the movement of a chorus.
The final puzzle piece that made that workshop make sense was dancing at the Paniri, the local festival held in Megalo Papingo. The importance of maintaining the circle – Georgia would good-naturedly yell to me mid-dance to “keep the circle!” – was cemented in my mind. If you can’t keep time and space with those in the dance with you, it becomes uneven and sloppy.
Dancing in the Paniri and working together in a chorus isn’t about mirroring or actually copying what the others are doing around you. You have to let yourself become a part of that group to feel the same rhythm they are feeling. Working together with this apprentice company has been a wonderful experience so far and working as a chorus only further solidifies my love for this company and what we are doing.