Behind the scenes: ‘Swapping Shadows’

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Costumes drying after our last rehearsal at Elizabeth House, 22/01/2018

Sunday 28th January 2018

‘Swapping Shadows’ premiered 5 days ago to a sold-out theatre. No wonder it took me a couple of days to land from cloud nine. I have been wanting to blog about it, without knowing where to start from. What to show? What to share? I wish you could all have experienced the piece live. How could photos and reviews account for it? Should I let you read what other people thought, or share my own text and thoughts first?

Well, let me take you backstage, where it all began and where everything took shape. Photos, texts, reviews and footage from the show will follow little by little over the next few weeks.

On Monday this week, Shivaangee and I had our very last rehearsal at Elizabeth House. Our costumes and lighting designers Akshy and Sally came to support us and check all final details. One of Shivaangee’s friends also watched us and gave us very encouraging feedback that morning. The centre’s director Nathalie Renaud saw our last run through the piece and said it took her on a journey – a journey I hope to continue further, with many more spectators…

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Four roses for my four collaborators, discreetly displayed in the dressing rooms. The Place theatre, 23/01/2018

Tuesday was the big day, with a 3-hour long technical rehearsal on stage, and the show’s premiere in the evening. The time had finally come to put our dance under the spotlights! It was a joy to tread across the stage and see everything come together, under the eager eyes of our photographers.

Between the tech run and the actual show, I took a break and shared some cupcakes with my sister who had freshly arrived from France. We stopped by the florist, so I could buy roses for my collaborators before picking up our parents and their friends from St Pancras International station. I left them shortly before 6pm to get into the zone for this long-waited-for performance.

Studio 7 was empty – a white blank page where calmness and focus would prepare me to ‘write’ the night. Between the dark windows and familar sounds of stamping feet above my head, I saw my 18 years old self, Second Year student at LCDS. There in this very studio, she used to come, solo. Rehearsing, trying again and again to make movements that would match this or that piece of music. Here she was again. Morning ballet class. Hair in a bun and leotard. Fighting for turn out, jumping, pirouetting, sweating… and perhaps not breathing enough.

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Pre-performance selfie in Studio 7, 23/01/2018

Now there I was. Singing the last tune of my piece. Same dancer, same (but even further trained) body, now aged 23. A graduate, returning, wanna-be emerging artist. Dancer/choreographer, proud to have her work programmed at The Place’s Resolution festival. To me, performing there felt like homecoming. It was The Place where I belonged.



Theatre trips and other stories

Mercredi 19 octobre 2016

Ce mois-ci, le programme Next Choreography nous emmène au théâtre ! La semaine passée, nous avons assisté à “Primal Matter”, une création du chorégraphe grec Dimitris Papaioannou. Hier, nous étions au Sadler’s Wells Theatre pour voir “Gala” de Jérôme Bel – un show haut en couleurs dans lequel figurait mon ami Jordan Ajadi. Et ce soir, c’est au Barbican que nous avons rendez-vous pour le 3ème spectacle de cette série : “Inter_rupted” d’Aditi Mangaldas. Toutes ces pièces font partie du festival Dance Umbrella, un important rendez-vous de la danse contemporaine qui remue Londres chaque année au mois d’octobre.

Next Choreography 2016-2017 at the Dance Umbrella festival, 13/10/2016Pour cette édition du festival, j’ai rejoint l’équipe de volontaires qui fait entrer le public dans les salles. Jeudi passé, quand le groupe de Next Choreography a fait sa première sortie spectacle, j’ai eu l’honneur de les accueillir en tant qu’ouvreuse. Sur la photo qu’on a prise à la fin du spectacle “Primal Matter”, vous voyez donc que je porte le T-shirt vert flash de Dance Umbrella 2016.

Au premier rang, à l’extrême droite de la photo, c’est Amy Bell, notre directrice artistique et animatrice. Et tout à gauche, vous voyez Laura, la coordinatrice du programme. Laura participe activement à nos sessions et sorties. D’ailleurs, je vous conseille de jeter un coup d’oeil à l’article qu’elle a posté hier sur le blog de Siobhan Davies Dance :

On y publiera d’autres articles tout au long de l’année pour raconter et illustrer nos découvertes et projets chorégraphiques. A suivre 😉


Should you wish to read about this in English, please refer to the following article:

OpenFLR – To the theatre

Monday 18th July 2016

We’re almost ready for the final performances of OpenFLR! This morning, we went to the Roman theatre of Fiesole and had a quick run through the piece on stage. We will perform it there tomorrow, and in another open air theatre on Wednesday night. Exciting!

Teatro Romano Fiesole, Italy. 18/07/2016

Teatro Romano Fiesole. 18/07/2016

Here is what our choreographer, Guido Sarli, posted on Facebook today:

Very happy and grateful for these two weeks of intense and enriching creation in Florence in OpenFLR Festival, where I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful team of talented dancers from Belgium, Canada, Italy and Mexico. Tomorrow and Wednesday we will present my new creation “MAY BE WRONG” together with pieces by Manuel Ronda, Rosalba Torres, Elisa Zuppini and Fernando Troya.

Rehearsal for 'May be wrong' by Guido Sarli. Studio oMA, Firenze. 17/07/2016

Rehearsal for ‘May be wrong’ by Guido Sarli. Studio oMA, Firenze. 17/07/2016


Lundi 18 juillet 2016

Nous sommes presque prêts pour les spectacles de clôture d’OpenFLR ! Ce matin, nous sommes allés au théâtre romain de Fiesole pour un “filage” de la pièce sur scène. Nous la présenterons là demain, et puis dans un autre théâtre en plein air mercredi soir. Je me réjouis d’y être !

Notre chorégraphe s’est dit très content du parcours qu’on a réalisé avec lui au cours du festival. Voilà d’ailleurs ce qu’il a posté sur Facebook aujourd’hui :

Très heureux et reconnaissant pour ces deux semaines de création intense et enrichissante à Florence dans le cadre du festival OpenFLR, où j’ai eu le plaisir de travailler avec une magnifique équipe de talentueux danseurs venus de Belgique, du Canada, d’Italie et du Mexique. Demain et mercredi nous présenterons ma nouvelle création “MAY BE WRONG” avec des pièces de Manuel Ronda, Rosalba Torres, Elisa Zuppini et Fernando Troya.

Rehearsal for 'May be wrong' by Guido Sarli at the Teatro Romano Fiesole, 18/07/2016

Rehearsal for ‘May be wrong’ by Guido Sarli at the Teatro Romano Fiesole, 18/07/2016