Unlike the majority of our dance pieces for performances, One Last Shift was created with much more input from the dancers themselves. This allowed them to experience ‘a day in the life of’ a professional dancer in the research, development & rehearsal phases of working on a new piece.
The work actually began last summer at one of our Kick Start Summer Schools where Hannah Foote & Anneliese Walden, 2 of our youngest dancers in the group, were given the task of creating a movement sequence based on the workings of the factory. They then taught their choreography to the other dancers when we started group rehearsals in January, which then became the opening section of this piece.
Similarly, the third section of the piece where fire breaks out was choreographed by the dancers themselves. Each was given a task to create a sequence of movements that was dynamic, flowing and unpredictable like flames jumping from one place to the next. These sequences were then staged by Susan Elena with the dancers being given specific cues for their entrances.
The second and last sections of the piece were choreographed and taught by Susan in the way that most show dances are taught to classes but it was certainly a challenge for the dancers to create so much material by themselves.
One of the main challenges creating this piece was accommodating the range of ages and abilities involved and ensuring that each dancer played an important role with equal status on stage – no ‘dumbing it down for the kids’ in this piece.
We hope you enjoy this rehearsal footage, please note there is a very small section missing at the start due to swapping cameras!