last friday I went back to the Rambert Dance Company to draw Barak Marshall’s rehearsal. I had such a great time when I was there on tuesday, the drawings weren’t great but cobwebs had been swept from my head, and I just enjoyed the act of just sitting and drawing. as I said in the last blogpost: it was glorious.
last friday. not so glorious.
the joy of being back drawing, rediscovering that pleasure and focus, had passed. and now it was time to concentrate and not waste this opportunity... I arrived slightly late. not a good start. it doesn’t take much for the traffic on the north circular to slow down to a snail’s pace, and on friday it rained. sigh. “it’s raining. traffic’s an arse. sorry, running late” I texted Barak, conforming to the english stereotype of complaining about the weather as a way of smoothing social interaction....
When I arrived in the studio the dancers were working on the duets part of the piece. Duets. two dancers dancing together. two separate dancers and their bodies, but forming one fluid form of movement. it’s beautiful to watch. it’s a bugger to draw. especially if you are a little bit breathless from running in the rain. (NB: scanner is playing up so decided to photograph rather than scan the drawings. I quite like seeing the sketchbook as an object, but harder to get the white levels right)
I am not a dancer. I do not know the right terms or jargon. apparently last tuesday in the studio they were "cleaning" so Barak wasn’t sure if it would be good to come. I learnt that “cleaning” in dance rehearsals has nothing to do with sponges, buckets, or sweeping away cobwebs, but going over small sequences of dance to refine the particular movements. Perfect for drawing. Friday, on the other hand, they were going to do a run through of the whole piece, without pause. Beautiful to watch, a privilege to see a work-in-progress. Not so easy to draw. The drawings got looser and more scrambled.
I realise that I drew more dancers resting than at the previous rehearsal. I needed their stillness as a contrast to the movement.
Part of the piece involves balloons. So balloons needed to be inflated. Obviously person inflating balloons needs to be drawn.
Huge thank you once again to Barak Marshall and the Rambert Dance Company for allowing me into their rehearsal space and letting me draw. I have had the music stuck in my head in a constant loop. it made for very interesting Yom Kippur background melodies.