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Inside the Studio : Week Four Layers of Skin

How many things can happen in just one week? Our first week back after the Easter Break was not gentle. It was full, energetic and went by super-fast.

Filip has created a wonderful duet on Kristina and Pauline which I think is a great way to begin the piece to introduce the dance language and themes to the spectator. On the same day a male trio was made; and it takes my breath away!! Matthew floats between Steven and David's arms. They catch him with such precision and smoothness.

The job of an apprentice is to learn different roles and if there is ever a need to replace someone, here I am! Erin was performing In Nederland’s for another project, so I jumped in.

I discovered how many things can go wrong just in the first 5 minutes. It doesn't actually matter how well you know the accumulation phrase, because it is a mind and a body killer. Even the shorter trios require high body energy, precision, wild-ness, compactness and a bit of luck! Matthew laughing at me because I was breathing so hard after less than 4 minutes!!

By dancing in Erin’s role I have learnt something really important. Not to worry and focus on how good and special the Retina Dancers are, but to go for it and trust myself without hesitation. I might be good too!

On Thursday we started preparing for the Open Workshops for All. We created movements to teach to the community. It was great to see Fillip so excited and how using such simple ideas he can readjust the material. On Saturday we spent a fabulous day in the park, having loads of fun teaching dance to anyone that wanted to join us. Looking forward to the next one on 14 May, please come and dance with us!

Kristina and I spent time reflecting on the week. We sat at home on the sofa imagining how the integration with local dancers will work for the Antwerp premiere. We talked about the possibilities and our ideas; and remembered all the movement material we still need to put in. We became intensely curious and excited. I can't wait to see how the artistry of the choreographer is going to shape the whole piece.

While the rest of the company worked on a quartet, Fillip set a duet with Steven and me. It’s actually pretty long phrase with two scary movements we tried at least a hundred times.

On Friday Erin was back and it was gorgeous to have her energy around again and great to see how fast she was able to learn all the material and ready for a run in less than two hours. So we did a run through of the piece and filmed it. So far we have 15 minutes!!

That's it for now....no actually not. I forgot to say, Kristina is looking for a new hair style, and she and Filip taught workshops for the International Day of Dance on Friday, we've got great postcards to advertise participation workshops, Steven taught us a beautiful class and I am ready to move on to the next challenge!.

It’s difficult to be brief when describing such a busy week, I want to share it all! I am ready and excited to move on and learn Matthew’s role next week. I hope you are enjoying our journey Inside the Studio on Layers of Skin as much as we are.

Written by Luisa Memmola, Retina Dance Company Apprentice

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