Sunday, 21 December 2014

Week 2 of rehearsals for Three's a Crowd (and Flying High classes)

What a brilliant fortnight it's been! I've already posted about the first week of rehearsals for Three's a Crowd on this blog, but we've had another week since then as well as some great counterweight flying classes over the weekend with Flying High.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of the Flying High classes last weekend, but they were a roaring success with both adults' and children's classes as well as professional development masterclasses taking place. For many participants it was the first time that they'd ever done counterweight flying or tried counterweighting someone else, and they all picked it up very quickly. All in all, it was a fun and productive weekend.

After the weekend we then derigged and took all our kit over to Lochgelly for another week rehearsing for Three's a Crowd with All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre at the Lochgelly Centre. It was a brilliant week and we had a lot of fun! It was also really rewarding to see the show come together as the structure began to take shape. The show premieres on 31 January 2014 at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh as part of Manipulate Festival, and you can book tickets online here. I took a few photos of the rehearsals too, which you can view below. As always, you can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.










Friday, 12 December 2014

Week 1 of rehearsals for Three's a Crowd

It's been a busy month already and we're only half way through December's rehearsals for Three's a Crowd, a new performance piece from All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre. It's a very dynamic show which incorporates theatre, aerial, dance and circus, so I've been very busy rigging and counterweighting for the performers this week while we've been rehearsing at Dance Base in Edinburgh. I took a few photos over the course of this week which I thought I'd share here. As always, you can click on any of the pictures below to enlarge them.




 





Sunday, 7 December 2014

Update: December 2014

It's getting colder outside and the nights are drawing in, so I thought it was probably time for a quick update on what I've been doing and what's coming up this month.

Firstly, at the beginning of the month I went to the Riggers' Forum at the PLASA Focus show in Glasgow. A fascinating presentation on the current state of circus rigging in Scotland from Aerial Edge and All or Nothing ADT kickstarted a very useful discussion on rigging and planned changes to the National Rigging Certificate, with interesting contributions made from stadium riggers on the floor. It was an interesting and useful afternoon.

The main thing that I will be working on over the next few weeks though is rehearsals for Three's A Crowd, a new theatre piece from All or Nothing ADT which incorporates aerial, theatre, circus and dance. The show's premiere will be on Saturday 31 January 2015 at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh as part of Manipulate Festival, and you can book tickets online here. I will doubtless be posting more photos and updates over the next fortnight, but in the meantime you can check out this video from last year's R&D on the show to get an idea of what it's about:

http://vimeo.com/83450380

Finally, Flying High, a training programme in harness techniques for professional dancers from All or Nothing ADT, will be happening again on the weekend of 13-14 December 2014. I'll be there all weekend, so it's definitely shaping up to be a busy month ahead!

Friday, 14 November 2014

NCCA Roadshow and Rigging for Aerial Performance course 2014

It's been a busy week for networking and skillsharing on circus arts and aerial performance in Edinburgh! The wonderful Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith has been hosting two great events this week: the National Centre for Circus Arts Roadshow and a course on Rigging for Aerial Performance by Bryan Donaldson from High Performance. As always, you can click on any of the pictures below to embiggen.


National Centre for Circus Arts Roadshow



First of all, on Tuesday 11 November representatives from the National Centre for Circus Arts in London (previously known as Circus Space) came up to Edinburgh for a roadshow to discuss how circus can be further developed in Scotland. As well as getting a clearer picture of the significant number of diverse projects and companies across the country, it was also a fantastic opportunity to network with other people in the industry both in Scotland and across the UK. For me personally, the afternoon session on rigging was especially useful, as we discussed the challenges of working in different venues with differing specifications and infrastructure when touring as well as the more mundane aspects of rigging such as insurance, risk assessments and methods statements. I was so engrossed in the various sessions that I forgot to take any photos, but it was an excellent day.


Rigging for Aerial Performance course


On 12 and 13 November I attended the two day Rigging for Aerial Performance course run by Bryan Donaldson from High Performance, a specialist performance rigging company based in London. Whilst I was already aware of a lot of what we covered through my rope access and previous rigging experience, it was very interesting to see how some of the theory and practice in performance rigging differs from rope access, particularly in areas such as calculating safe working loads and dynamic factors for aerial performance. I also got to learn about performance rigging specialist areas such as the use of truss and how to splice steel wire rope for a temporary termination using a Flemish eye splice, which was fascinating.


As well as theory and the legal aspects of rigging, we had practical sessions in knot-tying as well as rigging a pulley system for lifting performers safely (known in the industry as 'man riding' applications, which had some participants in giggles) and the use of a load cell to test the impact of dynamic movement on loading. In addition to this, we also covered some snatch rescues from descent using the kinds of harnesses and equipment predominantly used in the industry, which meant that there are some significant differences between these rescue techniques and those used in industrial rope access rescue.


Photo credit: All or Nothing ADT


Photo credit: All or Nothing ADT
Photo credit: All or Nothing ADT

It's been a great week where I've learnt a lot and networked with some really great people. Now I'm looking forward to putting some of the things I've learnt into practice!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Some photos from Enchanted Forest 2014

We're just over half way through the performance run at Enchanted Forest this year, the first time that there has been an aerial performance element to this fantastic sound and light show at Faskally Woods near Pitlochry. I've been having a wonderful time so far working as a rigger and counterweighter with All or Nothing ADT. I've collected a few photos together which have either been taken by myself or other performers in the show, so I hope you enjoy them! As always, you can click on any of the images below to enlarge.



  

 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Rigging for Enchanted Forest 2014

As with all of my blog posts, you can click on any of the photos below to enlarge.

Enchanted Forest opens to the public tonight, and so earlier this week I was up on site at Faskally Woods to be part of the team setting up a counterweight flying rig in the middle of a circle of five trees. It's an awesome bit of rigging which involved a lot of clambering about in the trees. Plus the ladder and counterweight system is just a touch over 10 metres high, which is a fair bit bigger than any counterweight project I've worked on before!

Check out that paw in the centre! Photo credit: Will Thorburn

We also did a few rehearsals once the rig was set up, both in and out of costume, so that we could get used to the way in which it was set up on site and how the costumes (and particularly the headpieces) might affect our performances. We also did several run throughs once it got dark so that the lighting technicians could get the lighting sorted too.

Photo credit: Will Thorburn

It's really exciting to be part of this huge sound and light show with All or Nothing, and I can't wait to get back on site on Saturday. Enchanted Forest is on for three and a half weeks, from 3 to 26 October 2014. If you think you'd like to go along and see it for yourself, including our performance, you can buy tickets online here.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A quick update: Enchanted Forest 2014

For the last month or so I've been working with All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre to produce and rehearse a counterweight flying piece for Enchanted Forest 2014. It's been a fascinating and fun process, and we're now ready to take it onto site tomorrow for the final rehearsals before the three week long sound and light show begins on 3 October. I took a few photos at yesterday's rehearsal, but unfortunately most of them came out very blurry except this one:


It's a really exciting project and performance to be involved with, and I'm looking forward to it immensely. As the show is on every night for over three weeks, I won't be on site every day, but I'll post some more photos soon once I'm there. If you think you'd like to come to the Enchanted Forest yourself, you can buy tickets online here.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Update: August 2014

Wow, I haven't updated this for ages! Since I last posted, I've been working on quite a few projects in the UK and abroad over the summer, including learning some interesting new kinds of rigging. At some point I may even get around to posting about them!

I'm back in Edinburgh now and beginning work on a new counterweight project for this autumn with All or Nothing. I've posted a couple of photos below from today's practice session (as always, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them, although they're not great quality unfortunately). With any luck, I'll have plenty more interesting pictures and updates to post over the next few months!




Saturday, 8 March 2014

Rehearsals for Swing is in the Air, February 2014

For the last few weeks, most of the rigging work I've been doing has been on counterweight systems to rehearse 2x Swing is in the Air Trio with All or Nothing. The piece is based on this video, but involves two sets of three dancers (counterweighter, flyer and floor dancer) performing together.

At the rehearsal last weekend at Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Edinburgh, I took a few photos of the dancers in action once I had rigged up the counterweight system with help from a couple of other people. As always, click on any of the photos below to enlarge.









Sunday, 23 February 2014

Updates: January and February 2014

Since my last post, I've done a few bits of work here and there, mainly with All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre and the Flying High harness skills programme. I keep forgetting to take any photos so I haven't been updating this blog much.

We've been across to Glasgow for a spot of static line work in the Lansdowne Parish Church, and last weekend we were in the Arts Factory in Edinburgh rehearsing a piece for the Macrobert Gala Evening in Stirling on 7 March. It's a version of a dance routine called 'Swing is in the Air', as seen in the video linked to here, only with two teams of dancers instead of one. Great fun!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Counterweight Masterclass at Dancebase, Edinburgh (7-8 December 2013)

In December, I went along to help out with the rigging and counterweighting at the All or Nothing Flying High counterweight dance masterclass at Dancebase on the Grassmarket in Edinburgh with Lee Clayden and Kathryn Cooley of Fidget Feet. It was a great weekend with some lovely people, and I learned a lot about how the systems work to make people fly.

Click on the photos to enlarge.


Photo credit: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre

Photo credit: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre

Photo credit: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre

Photo credit: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre

Photo credit: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre

Photo credit: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre

Photo credit: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre