This week in drama* on the waterfront, we hear from Scotty Cotter about a typical day in rehearsal of the beautiful ones – following your passion!
The rehearsal day normally starts at 9.30am, everybody comes in rugged up in clothing due to the cold weather that has hit Wellington. (I’m from Auckland and as you can tell I fear the cold, TYPICAL!)
Dolina Wehipeihana, the choreographer, starts the music and it’s all on. Muscle and bone for a hour. This consists of stretching, moving, rolling on the ground, body conditioning, figuring out how you get your left foot in front of your right, how to leap gracefully without feeling like a fat hippo. I successfully pass warm up!
The room is now hot and everyone has shed their winter layers, including socks, and are now to the basic shorts and t-shirts. From there we head into working over one of the dance sets. Detailing and cleaning each move and lift and figuring out how we do this seamlessly. I find myself lifting a lot of people. I feel like the Hulk! This makes me smile. The room is fueled with determination to get each point right, but also filled with a lot of laughter. I walk over to Sandip, who plays Sachin, to have a pretend wrestle with him. He taps out. I win. We work on the choreography till lunch time. By this time we are all sweating and having fun. I have passed the morning. Time for lunch.
Lunch normally starts with us all skulling back water to keep hydrated then rugging back up to fight the cold. Normally we’re all still warm so just chuck on a hoody or a jacket. The Circa balcony has the best view of the waterfront, if you ever get a chance to see the rehearsal rooms you’ll see the balcony. You can see right to the ranges on a clear day and when it’s sunny its the most epic view. We all figure out what we are having for lunch cause by this point we are starving! This cast loves to eat – it’s great!
After lunch we are into the acting side of the mahi. Braedyn and Sharn, who play Juju and Ardie, are working on their scene with the director Hone Kouka. Braedyn is cracking me up and I think to myself he is someone we should all keep our eye on. He has a natural instinct when he performs and he has a bright future in the arts. From the side of my eye I spot Sharn doing the splits, he is an amazing dancer. I somehow find myself signing up to the splits challenge where at the end of the season I would be able due to me stretching everyday, do the splits. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.
The rest of the ‘youngins’ leap up on the floor to work on the scene. Te hau and Paige who play Vaine and Lil Paulina are part of that crew. These two are our wahine force! They both effortlessly draw your attention, both amazing dancers in their own right. I like rehearsing with this crew we have a instant complicité.
Kali Kopae walks in with her baby Willow. The whole room stops and makes baby noises and faces towards the baby for a couple of minutes then we are all back into rehearsal. After the youngins have finish their scene we find out that we have the music for a song that Kali sings produced by K*saba and composed and written by Tama Waipara and Kali Kopae. See starts to sing along. Her voice is a formidable. I’m glad she’s my mate so that I can tell people how flash she is. She tells me to shut up and then we laugh at each other. It’s fun to work with her again.
Manny Solomon, who plays Ihia, gets up and dances to K*Saba’s track. I like this kid. He’s got spark. He knows how to hold a stage. I appreciate that. I find myself trying to hug Te Hau so that I can get her into a playful headlock she is already on to my tricks and try’s to get me in one. We make a truce then crack up.
Besides all the fun. We work hard. Which is why I love making theatre. Work shouldn’t be boring. For me following your passion and being excited about what you do is why I am involved in the arts. Having fun creating, imagining, telling stories, allowing the audience to dream and self reflect. That is why I make theatre. To share time and transport the audience to another place.
SO COME AND CHECK OUT THIS SHOW!!!! Dust off all your old dance moves and bring them along. the beautiful ones is an exiting visual tapestry that will have you shaking and grooving in your seats.
See you all there!
the beautiful ones is on at Circa Theatre until 11 July, the last production in the inaugural Ahi Kaa AK Festival.
Book now at 04 801 7992 or www.circa.co.nz