Easy Rider Blog, 2014


Eleanor Sikorski, one of the dancers in Eva Recacha’s piece Easy Rider, will be blogging over the next few months about the process leading up to the premiere of the piece at The Place on 25th and 26th April 2014. Book tickets here.


Blog #10

Wednesday 16th April 

 

A few days ago, two weeks before the premiere, Eva announced, after a run of the piece, ‘I think I just realised what the piece is.’ It’s never too late for a choreographer’s epiphany in my opinion. Now we are just one very holy weekend away from the premiere of Easy Rider at The Place. It’s here.

Speaking of epiphanies, what would have happened to the nativity if the three wise men arrived thirty three years too late and Jesus’s women were already weeping? Or if they had arrived 2014 years too late and had got lost and landed in London during Easter Week 2014? Easy Rider knows what would have happened and is going to tell you all about it very soon.

The Three Kings of Euston, glowing crystals, leopard print bikinis, deafening sounds, whipped butt cheeks… East Rider ain’t very easy these days. It’s becoming a bit of a storm.

We live in fear and anticipation. Fear of how the skies might change. Fear of what filthy pirate radio waves our radio mic might pick up when we are least expecting it (I never knew so much pornographic moaning  filled the air around us). Fear of which knobbly knee or hip bone might be battered most blue by the end of each day. Fear of God (maybe). 

God is a DJ. 

This piece, from the inside, is sometimes like a vision, sometimes a pain and sometimes like a complete mystery. Every run that we do (and we do many) tastes a little different. Not just because my face lands in a different patch of Antonio’s sweat each time, but because it feels different. Today it was languid but full. Yesterday it was hysterical. The day before the costumes were freshly made and smelt clean. The day before that the sun was blinding us. And next week we’ll be in the theatre and Jackie Shemesh will turn the lights on and the air will feel hot. 

We are ready for you. That is all there is to it, really. We are here, ready waiting. Bring on the answers. Bring yourself to the theatre, you might see everything you have always wanted to see. Or everything you never wanted to see.

Blog #9
Tuesday 4th March

Easy Rider trailer


video

Here's a taste of what is to come. 25th and 26th on April. Book here. Don't miss it!

Now we're back in London. On Sunday we had a great workshop with students from Birkbeck University, exploring ideas from the piece. Seeing familiar ideas interpreted by new bodies and new minds was very eye opening. Now we're looking forward to workshopping with Roehampton students this weekend and to see the work they produce over the two days.

Come on 12th March to Roehampton to see the students perform and to see an extract from Easy Rider. Details here.


Blog #8
Friday 21st Feb, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

Show time

We have a show! We've had three weeks here in Montemor-o-Novo and somehow the day of our first performance has arrived. It feels good. 
Despite us all missing our boyfriends/children/husbands, I think once we're back in London we're going to miss sleeping on the hill surrounded by ruined castle walls and rolling, horror film mist.


So, what has happen since my last blog to get us to 'the point of no return'? A lot.

I've had three more slices of almond cake at our favourite restaurant.

Amanda Recacha joined us for three days. Putting us through our paces with seemingly simple but actually mind-boggling performance/acting exercises. Who thought walking on stage could happen in quite so many ways? 'Say yes, say yes!' Some of us thought we were funny types and some of us thought we weren't... after one day the tables had turned. Never have I felt so desperately unfunny in my life as I was last week standing in the middle of a circle of people with one single task - make them laugh. (Alberto expresses how I felt inside).

Jackie Shemesh has been with us for the last week. God said let there be light and there was light. 
'You all look beautiful today, you must have slept well', (said as we all looked blearily into the hazy light beams at the start of one particularly body-sore day), the man knows the power of a well-timed compliment.

We improvised some recording equipment.


We made many foggy descents.


A few sunny climbs.


And we did a lot of surreptitious listening to Die Antwoord, ate a lot of chocolate from Lidl and dealt with a good dose of back pain.

I think we are ready!

Blog #7

Tuesday 5th Feb, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

Washing on the line


On Thursday our sound composer, Alberto Ruiz Soler, arrived to join us for a bit of convent life, and on Sunday evening design and costume duo-extraordinaire Sophie Bellin and Kasper Hansen also arrived. We are a full house. Finishing off our food provisions a little more efficiently than we used to be. 

Convent life is part luscious (sleeping quarters in a centuries-old building atop a hill amid castle ruins with a view to bathe all screen-sore eyes) and part bone chilling (sleeping quarters in a centuries-old building atop a hill amid castle ruins with windows drafty enough to bring fear to the most warm blooded amongst us). Heating exists but sort of in relation to whether the castle floodlights are also on, which is kind of conceptually interesting but practically a little more testing.

However, I complain not – I love a bit of window-seat-rain, and my thick duvet is yet to meet its match in the cold. And, yesterday was even sunny enough for the washing lines of Montemor to feel the weight of fresh laundry.













Out doors the clothes and bedsheets flew freely.
Indoors the clothes and towels also flew freely. 
Kasper and Sophie threw things at us and we danced in them. It has been a rich couple of days - stepping into our own 'shoes' of the performance. Deciding what we are, who we are, when we are who we are... the decisions get made and made again and things become clearer and clearer. It's amazing how much difference a pair of leggings can make. You won't believe it until you see it.

Kasper, Sophie and clothes.                                          Antonio's belly gets tweeted.


Blog #6 

Thursday 6th Feb 2014, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

Rituals in Montemor


Easy Rider, as a piece, is pretty occupied with rituals. Big ones, small ones, euphoric ones, casual ones, religious ones, superstitious ones... 
Outside of the piece, we are creating our own set of rituals. Our Montemor rituals. If we disturb the pattern of our day now, our world will crumble. The sky will fall, our food will not nourish us, we will be haunted by nightmares... 
Here's our day - as it is and always will be as long as we are in Montemor:

Morning check in (indoor version)


Morning check in (outdoor version)


Greeting the decent


Dancing dancing dancing...


Lunch behind the curtains



Tuperware delivery


Biscuits!


Tea!


Triumphant ascent



Blog #5
Wednesday 5th Feb 2014, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal


How to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew

So, we didn't have a corkscrew. I though that that meant we couldn't have any wine. How wrong I was.


video

Blog #4
Monday 3rd Feb 2014, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal


Chiaroscuro

To do and not to do, to believe and not to believe, to be in darkness and to be in light  – the last few days have be rather chiaroscuro-ed.

1) Cold and sunny

The original chiaroscuro caught on my camera this morning:

Eva

Lola

Antonio

2) Energy vs energy

Eva, Lola, Antonio and myself, having just landed in Lisbon on Sunday feeling a little travel weary, took it upon ourselves to spend the duration of the taxi ride from the airport to Montemor-o-Novo in heated discussion. Normally, if I sit in the back seat of a humming car whilst being caressed by the spinning red and yellow lights of a motorway at night I will fall into a deep sleep, but on this occasion things were pretty boisterous. I kept thinking Eva might take out the driver’s right eye with her flying hands.
We were talking about dance. More specifically, dance training, and even more specifically, the use of the word 'energy' in dance training.
Discussions between dancers about energy tend to be more about semantics and somatics than the measurement of the forces operating the physical systems of our universe... but I think this time we covered it all.
We agreed and disagreed and moaned and praised and gossiped.
What do dance teachers mean when they talk about energy in the body?
Is it just bullshit?
Do they really mean energy? Are they talking about heat and electricity or are they actually waffling? Have they just been listening to whale music for too long?
They mean it, says Antonio, because fascia in the body transmits thermal and electromagnetic energy.
But why are those not the words used? Why don't people talk about fascia more? 
Do teachers refer to different energies in the body to get people’s imaginations going whilst not actually knowing the facts?
How useful are metaphors asks Eva?
Do teachers too often ask their students to listen to the energy in their bodies whilst actually just expecting them to copy the shape they are giving them?
Can anyone really feel their kidneys?
Who knows?
The questions are endless.
Sparks were certainly flying. 
Then we passed Lidl and the conversation turned to food.

3) God vs no God

We had a studio sharing of Easy Rider at The Place on Friday. In the ensuing discussion the hot topic was God. Naturally.
He? She? God? Energy?
Does naming an omniscient voice or presence as God narrow or expand an audience’s capacity to relate to it?
If we avoid the word ‘God’ is the reference to ‘he/she/it’ lost in its lack of specificity?
Or does the word ‘God’ exclude all who have never been God fearing but have maybe feared another omniscience?
We’re yet to decide.

4) Be naïve. Be all knowing.

Today, in the Black Box theatre in Montemor-o-Novo, we worked on the beginning section of Easy Rider. We decided that we need to give the audience the impression that we have seen ‘it’ and are all knowing, and that we know more then ‘they’ do, but we also need to appear naïve.
We’re still working on it.
It’s a delicate combination.

Blog #3

Wednesday 28th Jan 2014

Bloopers!


The tuneful animals.

video

The drama queen.

video

Blog #2

Tuesday 28th Jan 2014

Nine superstitious things I have done























1) Been genuinely chuffed when someone told me Taureans are known for being sexy (I’m a Taurus).
2) Felt superior for being born in the Chinese year of the Dragon (as opposed to the rat, for example).
3) Eaten jam doughnuts without licking my lips to secure myself a rich husband.
4) Twisted an apple stalk whilst reciting the alphabet until the stalk came off in order find the first initial of my future husband. Then stabbing the apple with the detached stalk until the skin broke, which revealed the second initial of said husband.
5) Same as above with coke cans - bending the pull-ring off then placing it on top of the can and tapping the can until it fell into the hole (on average I am destined marry someone called Elliot Edwards).
6) Making a wish cutting my birthday cake whilst my family talk intentionally loudly to prevent anyone from hearing the knife hit the plate which would stop the wish from coming true. ‘I wish I could fly’. That is what I wish for. I wish for that EVERY TIME.
7) Wishing for a bad thing to happen and visualising it in order that I cancel the chances of it happening. The future is absolutely unknown and we can never predict it, so if I predict something I eliminate the chances of it happening. The things I imagine are of varying degrees of badness - from a train being late to my mother being shot or me being killed by randomly skewering myself on a cast iron fence. Think about it – in the news, people who have random bad things happen to them always say ‘I never imagined it would happen to me’… so logically, if I imagine something to happen it NEVER WILL! IT COULD NOT HAPPEN because it is LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE to predict the future. The more specific the imagined scenario, the more unlikely it is to happen... this can lead to very gruesome thoughts.
8) Being genuinely disconcerted by people who hadn’t taken their Christmas decorations down after Epiphany.
9) Breaking the wish bone of a chicken with someone. 

Blog #1

Monday 27th Jan 2014

Horoscopes


Heading into week two of the making of Easy Rider (or week 122 depending on when you started counting), my body is getting used to the lovely ache of being used again.

We had a conversation in the studio last week that went a little bit like this:

- I said maybe we could write a text featuring a character who has a personal astrologer.
- Eva suggested we might make it less exclusive.
- I didn’t say anything but thought to myself about the demographic that includes those both rich enough and weird enough to have a personal astrologer and thought that it was probably quite a large group.
 - Eva then said something about everyday superstitions.
 - I said that I thought newspaper horoscopes were one of the most normalised superstitions.
- Eva and I both agreed that newspaper horoscopes were one of those things. Like, EVERYONE reads their horoscope if they happen to chance upon it when flicking through a paper on the tube.
- Lola said, what? I don’t.
- Eva and I looked at her in disbelief. You don’t read your horoscope?
- Lola said no.
- Really? You must do?
- Lola laughed and said the last time she read her horoscope was about fifteen years ago.
- Eva and I both expressed more disbelief.
- Eva said – Lola, you do at least know your star sign, don’t you? (There was a note of alarm, even concern in her voice)
- Um… (Lola hesitated for some time), yeah, I think I’m Sagittarius.
- You THINK?!
- Lola said star signs didn’t mean anything to her.
- Eva said something about Sagittarians being boring.
- Lola looked a bit offended.