November 5, 2009
NICOLE DONNACHIE, Community Ensemble Participant
At this stage, Messiah is in sneak-previews only. That is, we are glimpsing the production in snapshots, gradually constructing a picture of motifs, music, and movement.
It is clear, though, that trust is essential to our piece. To stretch the metaphor, reliance and coordination are the frame and foundation of our artwork. Much of our rehearsal time has been filled with name-recognition and team-building activities. On Tuesday, we paired up and were instructed to listen to quirky noises concoted by our partners. It seemed like a lark until we were asked to follow them around the hall, based on sound alone. Terrified at first, I began to see that the group can rely on one another, even in darkness!
Piecing together the on-stage image has defined this trust, bringing the picture into focus. We are learning to act as a group, complementing and coordinating our movements. For example, staggering our on-stage entrances at a measured pace demands perspicacity and focus. I hope that, as rehearsals progress, sensing the movements of my fellow cast-members will become intuitive.
Figuring out how the project will eventually be seen is also fun. On entering Lilian Baylis House, we collectively dismiss our day-jobs for the duration of the rehearsal. For me, it is totally refreshing to focus on physicality and movement after a day at a desk. The piece itself is proving intriguing, with props ranging from lilies to nails. I am also still curious about the other members of the ensemble and enjoy getting to know them. While we are assigned movement and emotion, the interpretation of those themes is coloured by individual imaginations and memories. For starters, creating an image of mourning and sadness must have felt different to each member of the production. I am engaged, challenged, and excited by this process of collectively creating something new and of real meaning.
That is my portrait of Messiah to date: trust, coordination, and team-work. You’ll have to picture the rest….