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Garsington Opera’s ‘creativity through constraint’

Garsington Opera’s ‘creativity through constraint’

We recently shared how we approached our rehearsals and performances. Now, here is another different example of a Covid-19 protocol in rehearsals, from Garsington Opera. Mimbre’s Artistic Director, Lina Johansson, has been in rehearsals (virtual and physical) choreographing for their production Eugene Onegin since early this year. Garsington Opera’s production Eugene Onegin premiered last night!

Rehearsal shots from Garsington Opera’s Eugene Onegin, credit: Lina Johansson, 2021

Lina is quoted in the article, giving a great insight into her way of approaching the changes required in re-choreographing sections of the acrobatic sequences:

Garsington Opera asked if I could recreate some of the more physical choreography from our 2016 Eugene Onegin production. Once I got the carefully-crafted COVID protocol I was able to break down the challenge into detailed puzzle bits. I pored over photos and videos from the previous productions. What could we create with Fixed Team pairs; what could we pull apart to create more distance; exactly how long was each point of contact (in seconds!)?
I had to rethink how to teach the acrobatic lifts to the singers, breaking the technique down bit by bit, spending more time on strengthening exercises and individual technique before approaching the actual lifts themselves, to economize the precious proximity time. I think this is actually a positive outcome – by the time we came to the lift both lifters and lifted were more confident in what they were doing.

Lina Johansson, Mimbre joint Artistic Director and Eugene Onegin‘s acrobatic choreographer
Rehearsal shots from Garsington Opera’s Eugene Onegin, credit: Lina Johansson, 2021

Have a read for a breakdown of their process here:

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