Extract from the Rehearsal Scrapbook in the 2008 production programme:
The movement director has various roles, depending on the type of production and on what the director wants. Sometimes the director will ask for a dance, so it is then my job to go away and, working with the composer, choreograph a dance routine.
Sometimes a director might not be totally sure what they require physically in a scene. A lot of the time the process is simply trying out different forms of movement and physical styles. These can then be refined and developed back in the rehearsal room.
A lot depends on the actors. You might find somebody in the company who is very, very physical, in which case you can put those skills to use. It is hard to plan too much before rehearsals begin, as there is no point creating a lovely big dance routine, then arriving in rehearsal to discover that it doesn't look right or isn't suitable for the actor.
The movement and choreography is something that develops throughout the rehearsal process in discussions with the director, the composer and the actors. It is a very collaborative process.
Written by Michael Ashcroft, Movement Director
Photograph by Ellie Kurttz showing Hamlet company members in rehearsal © RSC