Circus Skills with Hannah

The team had a couple of days training with Mimbre - a London based acrobatic company - for some inspiration for the upcoming community outdoor project, The Seafarers. Hannah talks you through the two days...

Mimbre Circus Blog

On Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th February, Siobhan Hayes, Christian Brinklow, David Willdridge, Amy Butler, Chris Pavia, Laura Jones, Nadenh Poan, Lucy Bennett, Millie Clark, Kat Ball and I did a workshop with a circus group called Mimbre. This workshop was based on one of our themes from our repertoire pieces called The Seafarers. The Seafarers is a piece about a solidarity celebration of the war happened overseas around the time of the Second World War in Portsmouth.

On Monday 5th, Lina who was leading the workshop had taught us how to give and to take each other’s weight. By doing this, we watched her with another one of our dancers by how she pours her weight into the other body. She showed us a number of different shapes and lifts to pour each other’s weight. After she showed us these shapes and lifts, we played around with these pictures we saw from her with different partners. We learnt how to do a fireman, a piggy back (rucksack) and a baby carrier lift. In the afternoon, we played a fun game of sharing weight. We started in a clump and bringing one person at a time into the air. The people lifting below manipulate the relaxed person into different positions, high and low. I liked this game because it got me thinking about the different shapes on different heights. The reason being is that I get to sense whose giving me that weight from below and receive that information.

On Tuesday 6th, we learnt how to do lifts. Lina taught and explained to us how they use different height platforms to lead us into smaller and bigger lifts. To start the day off, we warmed ourselves up by doing some core work like press-ups, planks, twists and sit-ups. We had to do this because as we’re doing lifts we have to keep our centre strong. I found this useful and important because in lift-work, if we didn’t do this we wouldn’t be strong enough to lift our partner. As we saw the fireman, a rucksack and a baby carrier lifts, we played a game called Grandma’s Footsteps. We built this game up in two different stages. One was the original footsteps, and two was your own chosen lift - like out of the three lifts we saw earlier. In the afternoon, we learnt how to build smaller lifts to bigger lifts. We had to do this in partners where we used different platforms to climb ourselves up into a bigger lift. At the end of the day, we played around with so many different lifts and weight sharing by taking a photo of our lifts as inspiration for our piece.

 

- Hannah, now a dancer with Stopgap’s main touring team, is an Sg2 alumni and here she talks a little about one of our recent professional development workshops.

Our previous Sg2 company took part in loads of workshops with some fantastic artists and companies including Thomas Noone, Tim Casson, Rootless Root, Lost Dog and Company Chameleon to name but a few! This is an important part of an artist’s development and the new Sg2 will often have professional development workshops from amazing artists like the ones listed above.

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