To begin opening dance opportunities to the young men of the North West, particularly those that have never danced before, we have to track some down. Where do they hang out? Not in the offices at The Lowry theatre, that’s for sure! We have to go further afield. We sent Lord of the Flies Ambassadors Sam Broadbent and Luke Saville out into the big bad wold to see what the North West has to offer.
Since December the dancing duo have been touring the region, as well as hosting drop in sessions here in Salford to light the fire under the Lord of the Flies’ pot. We have asked Sam to give us a run down on her last three weeks in the lead up to audition day.
Week one 12th January – A Sam’s Eye View
It was been great to see such a fantastic turn out of young men from 9 – 25 all working together in a professional and mature manner at Friday’s drop in session. Lovely to see boys returning for another Lord of the Flies experience.
Luke and I taught the fire dance and Jack’s phrase from the show, which both were positively received by the boys. All 25 in attendance really pushed themselves and performed the movement with great physicality and attack. The boys had a chance to be creative in the studio, choreographing their own movement. It was fantastic to see the boys begin supportive and nurturing towards one another and caring about the movement being created.
Sunday’s Open Day was a long yet productive day. Luke and I met 19 young, talented and enthusiastic boys who all worked their socks off! I think the winning section of the show workshopped today was the stick fighting phrase, which the boys absolutely loved. I have to admire the way they all got stuck in and worked with new people and acted so professionally. Choosing 20 to be in the company is going to be the hardest job in the world!
Week two 19th January – A Sam’s Eye View
What a week! Our sessions at Salford City College and St Michaels were huge successes and we have been stunned by the young male talent in the North West.
What has been particularly interesting this week is the amount of boys returning to the drop in sessions week by week, in addition to open days as well. I think this speaks volumes not only about the young men wanting to be involved in the Lord of the Flies production and having a positive experience at the sessions attended so far but it also highlights to me the interest in male dancer opportunities. North West Dance are currently in the process of collating a database of classes, groups and opportunities for male dancers that are happening across the region, which will be available on the North West Dance website. I think this is a really great idea and will allow the boys to access information that they might not have been able to source beforehand.
I really enjoyed our Salford Open Day this weekend. Our PM session was attended by 4 boys aged 20+ and 3 boys aged 12. What was really rewarding about this diverse age difference within the same workshop was watching just how much the younger boys looked up to the older boys and how inspired they were after leaving the session. The older boys did a fantastic job of working with the younger boys and really made an effort to nurture and inspire them as young dancers.
Another busy week next week with 100’s more young men to see! Narrowing the numbers down to 120 for the audition will be a tough job for Luke and I…. the future of the North West male dance scene is in good hands with the next generation!
Week three 27th January – A Sam’s eye view
My brain is now completely full with names of the 100’s and 100’s of boys we have seen so far; I don’t think I can remember any more! Our Open Days and Drop In sessions alone attracted 73 young men. It’s amazing to witness the boys being so dedicated to the project, travelling to venues across the North West to participate and get involved.
I am particularly enjoying the Friday night Drop In. We now have a group of boys who are returning every week and as a result are starting to make new friends. It is inspiring to watch the boys become comfortable with each other and get chattier by the week. I think their creative work is really benefitting from their new found confidence and they are starting to challenge and push each other when performing.
The flyers and website regarding LOTF all state – “No previous experience of dance is necessary”, therefore the Lord of the Flies workshop Luke and I have been delivering has been a dance introduction to many young men that we have seen. I can’t credit the boys who have never danced before enough for jumping in at the deep end and engaging with the content of the workshop with enthusiasm and a willingness to step outside of their comfort zone. From this outreach process Luke and I have discovered that actors make fantastic dancers! The actors we have seen have thrown themselves into the sessions, and approached the movement with passion and commitment. The actors we have worked with haven’t been afraid to use their face and have a natural ability to tell the story through the movement.
Luke and I next week have to decide on the 120 to invite to audition and finally finish our outreach period on LOTF! Judging by the talent we have witnessed over the past few weeks, something tells me choosing just 120 isn’t going to be an easy job!
Now that is something to get excited about! All these new dancers just waiting to leap onto the stage. Out of all of these students 120 have been asked to attend to audition before a panel. A panel that will consist of company members from both New Adventures and their education company Re:Bourne, along with Sam and Luke.
Now we have made contact with all of these budding dancers it is time to move onto stage two: the audition *gulp*.