Within the space of 10 days, I witnessed the true extent of successful, accidental networking. Despite not communicating within the last 4 years, Sam Plumbley, my old music teacher from my secondary school, Arnold Lodge in Leamington Spa, messaged me with a job opportunity. She explained how she was to be directing a concert, in St. Peters Church in Rugby, hosted by The Rugby Music Union (a prestigious society that has been performing extensive and high quality repertoire since 1895) on the 15th October 2016, with the theme of “beginnings and developments”. Her offer was that she wondered if there was a chance I’d be able to perform a ballet cross contemporary improvisation, alongside a rendition of Beethoven’s Ballet, Prometheus.
The offer was too good an opportunity to dismiss, and I quickly accepted. The following 9 days resulted in constant contact with Sam, discussing style of movement, size of the dance area within the church, structure of sections within the piece of music, costume ideas alongside payment, planned rehearsals and even lifts and transport to and from the event.
After being sent recordings of herself and the flutist playing the music, I loosely choreographed some movement to the sounds; following her request of that the movement be natural, hence, a mild improvisation.
The concert itself consisted of performances from church choirs, chamber choirs, soloists and a primary school choir. With myself being the only ‘performance’, there was a lot of pressure resting on my shoulders, especially since they were being bared in a leotard for the costume aesthetic – an item of clothing I hadn’t worn in a couple of years! Despite the jolted rehearsal, and the overcoming of the carpeted floor with canvas ballet shoes, the night mellowed as the concert commenced. The live music, combined with the earnest eyes aging from 7 to 70, enveloped the rendition and lifted my developing confidence in improvising immensely.
As the concert ended, never had I been thanked to dance for and by, so many people of an elderly status. The entire opportunity opened my eyes to a whole world of elderly people that wish to relive their old dancing days, through the complimenting of those with a younger, and more agile body.
It is certainly an open avenue that I may consider; dance classes for the elderly.