This is it! I have finished the project last week. I managed to put on, a one hour production with 100 kids. I am really proud. It was hard and stressful but it was worth it. Most of the kids were quite sad that it was all over.
Since my last post I have been working on setting more and more of the choreographies. As the weeks passed the show was taking form. The media department was able to show me what they had done which allowed me to adapt the choreography.
In the after school sessions I worked with the time travellers. I came up with a script and we worked on it together. The three students would suggest changes so that they could say and learn their lines better. We worked on basic acting skills such as projection, articulation and timing.
Three days before the show we put everything together for the first time, the time travellers' scenes between each dances and the projections. I made a couple of adjustments with the time travellers. I had warned them to be ready for small changes at the last minute. It was very good that everything was ready at least a week before the show because when we got on stage to rehearse, the students could concentrate on all the new information they were getting. They didn't have to think about the choreography as they new it very well. They could work on their focus, their spacing and their entrances and exits.
These little details make a very big difference in the quality of a production.
The day before the show we did a dress run which went very well. It was a long day for the students. Technical rehearsals and dress runs can be hard for young ones as there is always a lot of waiting. The kids get easily bored so you have to make sure you have a good amount of staff to look after them and keep them busy.
On the day of the show we managed to do a rough run through, but not on stage. It allowed the students to have the choreography fresh is their heads.
The show went very well. The time travellers were brilliant and all the choreographies were beautifully danced. The projections were amazing and everything came nicely together. The audience (parents and school staff) loved it. It was rewarding for everyone. The hard work paid off.
One of the feedbacks I received was the fact that you could really see the kids' input. This is something that is very important to me and I am glad that people were able to see it. I questioned myself a lot on that matter. I could feel that some people along the process thought I should be teaching the students more moves. That is not what I wanted to do and I am glad I didn't. The choreography was made by the students and I. I came up with many ideas and moves but so did they. It was a collaboration.
The point of this adventure was to develop the students' creativity and it did. I had the last word on everything and I directed the whole thing but I got helped by the people dancing in it.
It might have been easier and less stressful to just come to each sessions and teach them every single move of the choreography but I strongly believe that it wouldn't have looked as good.
I am glad I kept going that way and didn't give in because the result was stunning.