In Training

It’s 6.27am and I need coffee. It’s still a little gloomy as I write but I don’t care. I have indulged in the beautiful luxury that is a full week of class. My muscles bear the brunt, they are heavy with fatigue and that certain discomfort, otherwise described as a dull ache, from consistent exertion.

If I am to leave the house in one hour or so, I‘d better get a wriggle on.

Those who know me well, know that I am a class junkie and that dance is my work, my social outing and my therapy (to combat the crazy).

This past week has ticked every box. I have used the dance to get into my body and direct the pressures of full time university study into the recesses of my consciousness.

Last week’s classes were led by Brooke Stamp. Brook’s classes were deceptive. We were lulled into thinking that the next two hours would be a breeze, filled with relaxation, but before we knew it we were in the midst of multi-directional movement. A combination of feisty pivots, deceptive weight shifts and ball changes, legs tasselling and arms inscribing sweeping arcs. The sequences were playful, imbued with a lightness of approach, combined with the physical satisfaction of slicing actions displacing the atmosphere in the light filled studio.

Before and after class I couldn’t help but talk shop with my class compadres. We simultaneously lamented the scant opportunity to just dance every day and celebrated the time we have left courtesy of FORM at Connect. We reminisced over past experiences. We inadvertently acknowledged all those that came before us, as our bodies unleashed information scored within the sinews, woken in the act of moving down the path they first etched upon us.

We speculated: who was it that started Release technique? Who was it that stated we looked too uptight and were in need of a quick cold beer before class?

After class I have been rehearsing in the studio downstairs while Martin del Amo has been developing a new work in the larger studio. He has assembled the crème de la crème of Sydney’s female dance talent to develop a new work. Every now and then, Thomas Kelly and I sneak up the stairwell to peek through a small strip of uncovered glass, to see what they’re up to. They have a curious assortment of props, including what look like miniature traffic cones, and my curiosity flies off the chart. Before too much is revealed, one of us makes a noise, or the floor creaks and we make a hasty retreat. It’s all very cloak and dagger.

There was a buzz of excitement on Tuesday last, as three very fit Matildas were ushered up to Martin’s lair. I crept in for about fifteen minutes to hear the women talk tactics. They shared insider knowledge. For instance, when you watch a televised game (of soccer, although I think this can be applied to any ball game) what’s predominately captured is the action around the ball. When you attend a game live, you are privy to the bigger picture, the selfless acts of the teammates working together to ensure there is a clear path toward the goal.

Now the miniature traffic cones make sense. The dancers are in training.

My first rehearsal block is finished, but I’m determined to make it back this week and the week after to get my fix and farewell the building that is being demolished to make way for the biggest structure in the southern hemisphere. This week will feature Rhiannon Newton and Sara Black and Kristina Chan is up next (week).

– by Vicki Van Hout