Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lampeter World Dance Show 2014

Only a couple of months since the August show, there I was, in cat-herding mode again! This time, for the Lampeter World Dance Show, a showcase for a variety of dance styles to promote classes in the Lampeter area. It had been 18 months since the previous one. Due to other bookings in the Victoria Hall, this show had to be on a Friday night, with some taster workshops on the Saturday. As usual, I was still chasing dancers' music and details in the week leading up to the show. I had thought that setting the running order for August was difficult, but this was really tricky, as so many dancers were dancing more than one piece. I spent hours on it, trying to sort out some breathing and changing time of at least 7 minutes for those dancing more than once. A Friday night so close to the start of the autumn term was too difficult for all of my dancers, so I decided to do one solo in addition to fan veil choreography which Rose and I had set for our fan veils workshop on 1st June. One of the groups I was counting on for a veil piece pulled out early on. The running order became possible again with the addition of a 20 minute Flamenco section, effectively creating a three part programme. Two short intermissions for people to take a break, get something to eat, browse the souk, and for the raffle. Sorted, what a relief!

The relief didn't last long. I printed out the running orders, then had a call to say that the Flamenco section had been cut due to illness. In a last minute flurry, I asked our visiting stars if they could do an extra piece each, just to re-establish some breathing space for other dancers. And, being stars, they said yes they could.

I used to drive to Lampeter via Newcastle Emlyn, but this time took a route through Carmarthen, which proved quicker and seemed an easy run with fairly good road and traffic conditions. I helped to set up the dance area, gave running orders and other details to the sound and lighting technicians and had enough time to put on costume and make-up without feeling rushed. Dancers started to arrive. As the time drew on though, we started to worry. Where was the souk? It turned out that they had left London quite late and were on their way. We planned to have all hands on deck to help unload and set up the minute they arrived. At the half, they still weren't there, and that included Zara, one of our guest stars; they were caught in bad traffic and horrible weather on the M4.

We hung on a little longer, then started the show anyway, the running order hastily amended to include an additional brief dance history chat and improvised Tsifteteli from me. Our other visiting star, Stephanie Gawne, danced the most brilliant and immaculate Charleston I have ever seen. In fact it was Meta-Charleston, sparkling, fun, energetic. I wished I'd filmed it, because I wanted to watch it all over again. She said she wanted to do something a bit racier for her fill-in piece and would only need a very quick change behind a screen before she went on again, for what turned out to be a very cheeky samba. In fact, so cheeky (ahem!) I think some of the audience were a little shocked. But, as she said, 'So what? We've all got them!'
Photo credit: Zara Dance
Zara and her lovely Mum arrived at the break and dancers flocked to help get boxes in from the car and set up some tables of dancers' goodies. Zara also danced a samba, and took a great photo of the lovely Sue P. trying on the samba headdress for size.

Rose dancing with a Dancing Moth silk veil!
By the end, I was exhausted and was grateful that, as I wasn't a local or a special guest star teacher, I wasn't due to give a workshop the following day. Even though I had heard about the change in the weather from dancers arriving for the show, I was quite shocked at how bad the roads were when I drove home, compared to my drive there six hours beforehand. Water, leaves, chunks of wood all over the roads! Thankfully, everyone got back safely. I decided not to go back up to Lampeter to attend any taster workshops, but I heard that they were as good as ever, and felt I'd missed out.

With thanks to all the dancers, technicians and audience and helpers for making another successful show!
(PS, dates for your diary, the next Lampeter World Dance show is currently planned for Friday 16 / Saturday 17 October 2015!)

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