Juncture – the view from Hannah’s sofa

Hannah RobertshawMy feet hurt and my eyes are red. I stayed up discussing movement psychotherapy with George Adams until 1.30am. The end of Juncture, day two.

Hours earlier, we’d sat watching 1:Songs, created by Nicole Beutler and starring Ibelisse, who I’d transported the day before from the airport. A fusion of tragedy and pop concert, set to an original score of pulsating danceclub beats, soft melancholic melodies and raw thrashy metal. It was a perfectly executed solo performance. Ibelisse was brilliant… carefully guiding the audience through wide-eyed and beautiful to animalistic and wild. She had a vunerable quality and yet totally in control. ‘Watch me’ she commanded. ‘Watch me’. And you did.

It will come as no suprise to those of you who know me well, that I loved it. My first passion is undoubtably music and any theatre experience that appears to be more like a music gig, gets my vote everytime. I didn’t want to be sat down. I wanted to be up there with her. I wanted to shout into the microphone and bark like a dog.

Once again, my thoughts darted back to the playground, to my parental friends. What would they have made of this? Bizarre? Scary? ‘Challenging’. I can picture their slightly confused faces. Maybe I’m doing them an injustice or maybe this is just the sort of theatre that you just have to experience. It’s the sort of thing you have to hear and feel. A bit like a dream… when you describe it to people, you begin to realise that it means nothing to them. They weren’t there. It wasn’t their dream and therefore, it is of little interest.

I want everyone to see 1:Songs. I want everyone to bark like a dog. I want to lose it and dance wildly in a nightclub with throbbing lights and deafening music. The problem is, I’m sat on my sofa and I’m tired. I’m really tired. I have two lovely children who woke me up at 6.30am. Another night of less than 5 hours sleep. But it’s Juncture 2014. It’s special and it’s fleeting. I have to milk this. I won’t meet these people again and I won’t get to watch Ibelisse strutting around the stage like a mechanical doll. This is a one off and it’s in my new city and I love it.

On the comedown from last night, we headed to a bar. We ate cheese and ham and discussed european kissing and shared anecdotes about stealing from supermarkets. For the record, I haven’t. Well, unless you count a bag of cat litter that I stashed under the Sainsburys trolly by accident. It made me realise that Juncture isn’t just about the art. It’s about the people and I feel more part of my team than ever. Maybe it’s because we’re all overtired or maybe we’re just inspired but there’s an emotional energy surrounding us like glowing Readybrek men.

I cried at work yesterday. 6 months in and my first set of tears. That’s pretty good going for someone like me. I’d just sat and watched the final edit of the Juncture Youth Dance Fringe film Dancing with your Neighbours¬†in which young people had interviewed and danced with their neighbours in Seacroft and Richmond Hill. The first edit had left me cold so we’d changed the music and revisited the raw material. ‘Ezra was right’ by the Grandbrothers has been on my ipod for weeks. I’ve been carefully choreographing a duet in my head, convinced that this will be my next creative contrubution to the world. It was too good a track to pass over so I sacrificed its use to the youth fringe film. Maybe it was my connection with the music which made the tears roll and maybe it’s this that connected me so strongly to 1:Songs. Music takes me to places that dance rarely does although, in my head, the dance is always there.

Hannah Robertshaw
Youth & Community Dance Director 

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