Caminando with the RSC: Of hugs, and dances, and text
June 6, 2012
Ok. First week of rehearsals. There was a lot of hugging involved.
In the mornings we had movement class with Ane Yee, the idea was to create a bigger sense of union within the group, and what better way to do it than by hugging: first in conventional ways, then in unconventional ways, and then we went extreme.
We also danced a lot, from little dances to big dances flying around the room. We started to create our own way of moving in the Aztec universe, we found new ways to approach each other, to salute, to fight, we explored the relationships between the characters of the play through movement, and boy did we have fun.
In Mexico we have done this kind of work, but every individual has a particular way of moving, and every culture has its strengths, so all these workshops really developed the communication between us.
The other half of the day was spent reading the text. You can imagine how frightened we were in our first reading, and God, do English actors read fast. But, we dived into it with gusto.
There was a lot of explaining to do, we had the opportunity to share some historic information about Mexico, and about our customs. Luis Mario, the play-writer, shared his view of the play, and how it spoke to him not just about our past, but as a reflection of the political tangle we are immersed in at the moment in our country.
We read through the whole play and it was clear that it still needed more changes, some severe cuts were going to be made, and some serious rewrites on several scenes.
Eloise Kazan shared her costume designs, and you can take a peak of some of them in the website, let's see if you get as excited as we did.
Since all our colleagues were performing in the evenings, the RSC arranged for us a class with Cicely Berry. Boy, were we excited, we read Shakespeare in front of one of the masters. We did some exercises with the text and she just kept feeding us new information which took a while to sink in completely.
So, all in all it was a good week, full of excitement, and everyday we returned home exhausted. But we took the time to go and see our colleague perform, and they were great.
by Andres Weiss
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