Work Experience Blog: Naomi Berry | National Dance Company Wales
Mix of pictures from Laboratori week

Work Experience Blog: Naomi Berry

Day 1

Hi my name is Naomi Berry and this week I am on work experience at NDCWales. I am an aspiring contemporary dancer myself and have been an NDCWales Associate for two years. I started my day by watching the dancers class led by Camille Giraudeau. This was a lovely way to get to know the dancers just by watching how they moved as a whole and as individual artists. I found it very interesting to see the similarities between the company classwork and the Associate classes too.

After the class, the dancers took part in a choreography task led by Lea Anderson which was fascinating to watch because she used film scenes to encourage the movements of the dancers. This was a technique I have never encountered before which, as an aspiring dancer myself, has encouraged me to look for different stimuli I would never have thought of using to inspire movement. I’ve had a fantastic day and with NDCWales and I can’t wait to join them again tomorrow.

 

Day 2

My day began the same as yesterday by watching the contemporary class led by Cami. It was great to see the development of each exercise from yesterday’s class. The choreography class, led by Lea afterwards gave not only the dancers but me as an observer also, the opportunity to delve deeper into our creative sides.

Firstly, Lea brought images of wrestlers in which the dancers had to imitate. I thought making the dancers use such restrictive positions demonstrated by the wrestlers allowed them to challenge their creativity in order to make the transitions between each picture as smooth as possible which was fantastic to watch.

After lunch, Lea used the same process but this time the images were torn. The dancers were given the task of interpreting what was happening in the photos and as well as outside the photos.

Observing this enabled me to see how each group developed the static images to make them their own and I was able to see the process involved in choreographing a sequence which I have never seen before. Today has really inspired me as a young dancer to look more into the choreographic side of dance.

 

Day 3

This morning I watched the company ballet class led by Emma Lewis. I was extremely surprised to see that the exercises were very different compared to the ballet I study as they included a large amount of relaxation and release. I also loved the fact that Emma used current songs for each exercise, giving the ballet class a modern twist.

During the choreography lesson after the ballet class, Lea Anderson asked the dancers to copy a dance by Laurel and Hardy, it was great to see such a comical dance being transformed by the professionals. Lea then introduced static images which the dancers had to combine with different sections of Laurel and Hardy’s dance. It was interesting to see how they integrated the static images into the energetic piece and to see how each group focused on different aspects of the pictures to use in their dance. This was just as entertaining for me to watch as it was for the dancers to perform their finished products.

 

Day 4

Today has been a great opportunity to see how the choreographers in the Laboratori Group constructed a piece from very little stimuli. I found it very interesting to see how the different styles of the choreographers could be integrated together to create one big piece of work. Lea split the dancers into 3 groups and asked the choreographers to make a phrase starting with an ending position. I thought that using this technique to inspire the content of each piece was extremely effective because it encouraged the choreographers to think of their destination before they had any idea what to base their performances on. By giving the choreographers free range, I was able to see what they used as their stimuli. I loved Ed’s idea of using the everyday act of making a cup of coffee to influence the movements in his phrase. It was mesmerising to see how such simple actions could be developed to produce a complex dance. When all the pieces from each choreographer were integrated, the end product was extremely effective and I cannot wait for tomorrow to see what other ideas Lea uses to inspire the dancers.

 

Read Naomi's final blog here