close to play time on planet circus

May 31, 2008

Okay so today after  a full day’s rehearsal from 10.00 am in the low training room to stage and then to lunch for half an hour at one and then one thirty back in the low training room for another three hours of rehearsal. Go back and over the material covered so far. Do it to the music and see how much you remember. Repeat bits you clearly have no idea of. Gradually gather ideas and collect cues and try to remember directions and which entrance you are using next. Great choreographic input from Kati. Work on opening march and kiosk conducting ; detailed focus on which muscles where and when and the subtley readable shifts which result in the body reading very differently in the venue. She provides a change of concentration and much greater deal of attention to physical detail and how to solve problems physically. Her observance and understanding of physicality in meaning-making and physical performance is a delight.


This was all morning; firstly in low training and then on stage. Ten to one. Then one thirty back on stage for staging with acrobats in prologue. Follow the track from end of prologue on stage to run downstairs to the basement ; a floor and a half down, change military batons for the light one then wait for the safety rope to be removed. Check the eyes of the carpenters and props people. Go up the stairs to the kiosk and begin conducting. Get used to the confined space and need to try it in movement. But this is all scheduled I am sure.


Then the PCA; physical capacity assessment. A series of regulated and carefully recorded tests of balance, cardio fitness heart rate recovery from aerobic activity, strength, flexibility, reach, strength and agility; chin ups, speed and agility. The results were eye opening and thrilling to know how unfit I am and how much I can improve for the next test. The spirit of the group the willingness to commit completely to the task and it is an amazing bonding experience. Seeing each other’s amazing skill at one thing and showing with such humility one’s weakness in the other. And the support that is offered vocally to an ageing man who can only manage two chin ups. And the way we care for each other and cheer each other and appreciate each other is inspiring. During the pauses between tests the high training room is filled with people doing tricks and guiding eachother and pushing and encouraging and giving tips. There is absolutely equality and love and care and humility and positive reinforcement and respect for the smallest effort but also the understanding that one can always do better. Reminds me of who I was when I started working with Maciek. Discipline, routine, regime, fitness practice…. practice….practice. And this provides the perfect time and opportunity to do that. The facilities, the encouragement, the structure, the expertise, the knowledge, the willingness to teach, the time to focus, the support the attitudes…


And the whole work is essentially physical theatre; detailed, subtle, meticulously choreographed spectacular physical theatre.


Then an envigorated, energized, determined-to-get-fit walk home and decision over a beer with Daniel to jog to work tomorrow. The possibility of elevating ones fitness levels and skill levels through practice and guidance from the company is hard to avoid. Stop off at the brewery across the road from the hotel, deserve a beer. Sit and drink an interesting red brew local and watch Basketball play offs and get some information about the fact that LA Lakers are favourites and Utah probably won’t keep up. LA Lakers have better players and more experience etc. My guide was a maybe sixty five year old black man with a goatee that spoke with civility and style and self confidence. He let loose his intention to visit SA but it cost a lot. I said its cheep when you get there… dollar goes a long way there.


 Very pleasant, stride home. Settle down to write some blog and go to bed. Daniel arrives home from backstage shadowing one of the characters. Complex he says and busy. We share a Heineken can.. one of those big ones, and tell each other stories of the day and revel in how lucky we feel and how happy to be doing this right now and how right it feels and how much we think certain people we know would be able to do amazing choreographic, acting and directing things for a company like this…. So there we are. Wednesday.


Now its Friday morning and starting a little later which gave me time to do grocery shopping at the Albertsons a mile down the road and also visit ATandT to investigate a cell phone. I find that my phone is not blocked and explore a couple of options. Fortunately I am not able to activate the number cos I find out from Daniel when I get to work that there are way better deals with other servers but at least it is in process. A back pack full of fruit and veggies and milk and bread and I stride home and then off to work. A full day of rehearsing with the acrobats on stage for the Day in the Life sequence. It takes some time to really get to know the details of the music and how the cues relate to the other activities on the stage. Stage management runs a tight cool and efficient ship and two hours fly by. Then a fitting and then sessions with Jo. In fact the whole afternoon working each scene. Dance moves with Gomez and then a final session with Kati on the While My Guitar Gently Weeps choreography; this is long and grueling but feeling good. Walk home and take some pics of the strip. Blisters on my feet from all the walking today. Daniel left earlier looking exhausted. Probably asleep by the time I write this. Crashing myself. Dead.

One Response to “close to play time on planet circus”

  1. […] andrewbuckland wrote a fantastic post today on “close to play time on planet circus”Here’s ONLY a quick extractThen an envigorated, energized, determined-to-get-fit walk home and decision over a beer with Daniel to jog to work tomorrow. The possibility of elevating ones fitness levels and skill levels through practice and guidance from the … […]

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