Sorry its taken so long! But here’s what I got up to this weekend; all interesting stuff I promised.
After racing out of work to make sure I was home in time, I had a chance to fix my bike (again!) and peddle down to the Peepul Centre with my partner. We were on the guest list for Mainstream Partnership Showcase Event. It actually started while I was at work, but I was able to go there afterwards and pick up on some of the acts. It was a fabulous showing of what people can do.
We arrived in time to see Mellow Baku and I’ve always loved her singing. She has an absolutely incredible voice and to hear her fill that space with her words and her passion was just wonderful. She gives a lot of herself into her music and her singing, you can see it with every word and she’s always an absolute pleasure to watch.
Then up was the Centre for Indian Classical Dance (CICD). I know my partner has done some work with the woman who runs them before, but I’ve not seen any of their work live. They did a nice section of classical Indian dancing, with all the hand gestures and delicate movements of the feet and legs. Then suddenly the music kicked up a gear and it was bangra and I was bouncing around in my seat. I love dancing at the best of times, but, because its so different from any dancing I’ve ever done, I love it all the more.
LALELA was next; a dance group rooted firmly in the traditions of Zimbabwe. Another group that had me bouncing around and trying to sing along. I don’t know any of the dialects, Umoja for instance is from other parts of Africa, but they feel similar enough that I wanted to try. Bright green and red skirts with shells forming bracelets around the ankles and drums to pick out a lively rhythm. Another act I’d like to see again if I could; they could use a little polish, but one they have that, they’ll be drawing people in. They’re a very funny, bubbly group of girls.
Petria Bistran is from Romania. And when he asked the crowd if we’d ever been there and we said ‘no,’ he said it was all right, he had come to us. Straight away I knew I’d like him. He even managed to make breaking his ‘last G string’ funny, though he did have to borrow Mellow’s guitar afterwards. Long notes, spontaneous giggles and lively music (even the sad ones), all with a lovely Romanian accent that had me pay attention. He’s based in Nottingham now, I believe, but I hope he makes it to Leicester again.
A step away from music for a second to spoken word. Poetry. Steven Silverman. Now I’ve seen this guy before; I think it was St George’s day and he was in that restaurant near Curve with the big glass doors. For my life I can’t remember what its called, but I saw him there and listened to him and thought; ‘heeeeeeey.’ I like this guy a lot; his style, at least to me, is playful, body aware and – dare I say it – sexy (gasp!). He performs not just with his voice, but with his hands, his face and his hips. Tiny little shimmies or a flick of the hair, all designed to give extra weight to the words his speaking with a fast-paced rhythm that honestly feels like it should have drums to it. And there were a couple of pieces that did have backing, some video to which made the piece Lipstick (I wish I could remember the whole title) feel like a song, where he could join in with himself on the video. Another featured a run of models at a high brow fashion show and it was dedicated to the designer’s work (I really should take notes at these things if I’m going to talk about them afterwards -_-).
Anyway, he and Mellow are the only names I knew prior to this event and I’m going to keep looking for both of them.
Then… to finish off, a drama piece, read by Rachael Young, Leah Chillery and Natalya Brown.
Three women, all going through different problems with their partners; one wants a baby, another is trying to rekindle the spark by being ‘sexy’ and the third is trying to convince her husband to come home and look after the kids. Very well done, choreographed neatly so the dialogue moves back and forth across the stage and it did all link in smoothly so there was no jolt from one woman to another. These guys were awesome; looking forward to seeing more of their work.
All in all I really enjoyed this event. I got to speak to a few more people, I met Damien Walter for instance and got to say hello to Kirsty Munro again. Also introduced to a couple more people who I had a chance to give cards to, before dashing back into the showcase room. The start of a good networking weekend I feel…
I went to the Phoenix Writers group. ^_^ A couple of hours with a group of writers that weren’t predominantly men (gasp!) who write on a range of genres. We opened with an exercise somewhat like homework that was set the previous week; 100 hundred words on a chosen word. Frankly put, the word chosen didn’t even feature in my vocabulary, I’d never heard it before and now I can’t remember what it was. Fail. -_- However the thesaurus gives words like stubborn and obstinate as synonyms. The styles I heard were so different that I think its going to be really interesting from them some more. Oh- and I got to pick the word for this week’s homework. Guess what I picked…? Yeah… I couldn’t help myself. Its a knee jerk reaction; this week the Phoenix Writers are going to be writing about doughnuts.
Smaller and far less about me, but no less awesome for that fact. On Saturday my partner, his eldest daughter and I travelled over to Nottingham to watch the premier of Sue Ansell’s Rockaby Bye. It was showing at the Broadway Cinema and the screen was actually really full with people who had been involved and wanted to see the finished product. Admittedly, I have seen the piece before, but the film seemed to have far more polish to it this time around.
The concept behind it is the rockaby baby song:
Rockaby baby on the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle with fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all
The film is a short one, only about fifteen minutes, but it tells the tale of the mother having no choice but to leave her baby while working on the kiln. As she’s working, horror of horrors, the bough she hangs the cradle from does fall, taking the baby with it.
I liked it when I saw it the first time, seeing it again on such a large screen, with fantastic sound and lots of other people only made it better. The crowning glory for me though, was to see my partner’s name on the credits for the piece since he did the music; David Soden. ^_^ Squeeee! I mean, I know that’s what he does, as well as his own films or projects he’s been hired onto, but I love seeing his name in credits. It makes me all gooey with happy pride. Heh, I’m such a geek.
I believe Sue plans to submit the film to some festivals, and then start work on the next one, so I’m looking forward to what she comes up with next.
So that was my weekend. Like I said, very, very busy and I’m sorry its taken so long to tell you about it! But at all of these places there was a chance to do some networking and talking about what I do and about what other people do. I wanted to tell you about it because its another example of just how much there is out there. The Midlands and even Leicester just by itself is filled with an incredible variety of very, very talented people and I’m doing everything I can to push my name up with the rest of them. Weekends like the one I just had seem a good way to start doing that.