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Season of new choreography 2012

Following a fantastic week at Sadler’s Wells we are now deep in rehearsals at Rambert for the Season of new choreography. Four new pieces created by Rambert dancer/choreographers, each with a newly commissioned score, will be premièred this week at the South Bank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

The orchestra has been in for the last few days working with our guest conductor Hugh Brunt – they are sounding fantastic! We have rehearsed new pieces by Semay Wu (working with Mbulelo Ndabeni), Chris Mayo (working with Dane Hurst) and, as I write, we are rehearsing the new piece that I have made with Patricia Okenwa: Viriditas.

The process of putting together a new work for live music and dance is a really fascinating one. Trish and I have finished creating all the movement and music material and now we hand over much of the responsibility of bringing the piece to life to the musicians and dancers. During the rehearsal period the orchestra start each day with a music rehearsal to have some time getting to grips with the various complexities of the new scores.

In the afternoon we move into the studio with the dancers to start putting it all together. This is one of the most exciting points in the process for me; hearing the music played live for the first time rather than a MIDI realisation. There are always some issues – speeds are slightly faster or slower, dynamics are balanced differently and the phrases suddenly have the ebb and flow of live human performance rather than the mechanical precision of the computer.

We are almost there and are now rehearsing with the set and the beautiful costumes created by Hyemi Shin before the technical and dress rehearsals at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Mark Bowden

Viriditas © John Ross; choreography: Patricia Okenwa; dancers: Hannah Rudd, Pieter Symonds, Estela Merlos, Antonette Dayrit & Julia Gillespie.

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