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Somebody's Watching Me: R&D Day Six. Thursday 3rd August 2017

Today we are in the Foyle studio at mac, Birmingham. We are starting at 12pm today and we begin with a physical warm up led by myself.

Present in today's session were: Ariel Fung (International Collaborator), Rachael Veazey (Deaf Explorer), Benji Reid (Dramaturg), Adam Rutherford (Assistant Choreographer), Amanda Wright (Dance Access Worker), Nao Masuda & Chris Bartholomew (Sound Artists), Shezad Nawab MBE (ASL Interpreter), and myself.


Today we are focusing more on practice and working in the studio with less people - so to start off - it is just Ariel and myself working with the sound artists Chris and Nao, and we are developing more of the work we did yesterday.

We were joined by Adam after an hour or so. Looking at the Opening Scene - he gave us some more feedback:

  • the shape is really good and its up to us to add more of our choreography to it.

  • the scene doesn't need to be long, and we don't need to worry about introducing the two main characters at this stage.

  • there needs to be an arc - to go from A to B. So there is a beginning and ending, but there needs to be something happening in the middle. Where do we take the audience?

After Adam gave his feedback and advice, he left us to continue practicing, and shortly after Benji joined us in the studio. As Benji wasn't with us on Days Four and Five, we showed him the work we developed this week.

He really liked the experimentation idea: the 'Sign and Dance' piece that we created - there was something very interesting between the marriage of the signing and the dance and how the two of us became one body. He says he really liked this piece because its very organic and playful.

Then we showed him the work we did on the Implant Scene idea. We had established a structure, so now we need to play around more - and create different versions of the same scene/piece. We need to see ways to make it more fun - the dance within the mime could be more fun perhaps. We also need to physically dramatise the acting more. As part of the R&D project, we realised that we just need to play around more and not worry about fixing any ideas down yet, or worry about how the music will connect to the pieces either - the sound artists will follow us, they will just watch and create something while we experimenting.



After a late lunch break, we are back in the studio at 4pm and continuing our work with the sound artists, taking into account the feedback from Adam and Benji earlier.

Now, it's just Ariel and myself, working on creating some alternate versions for the Implant Scene.

We came up with an idea of Ariel being more robotic while I was organic, as I hadn't yet had the implant done. And then after being administered with the surgery, I too became robotic like Ariel, and we created some robotic style of dance which we both did in sync. Nao watched the development of our new idea and immediately came up with a drum rhythm to match it, so we tried the new idea with Nao's rhythmical drum beats. It was interesting and we liked this idea.

Before the end of today's session, we created one more alternative idea for this scene and this time there was more drama and acting. For Ariel's part as the surgeon, we decided to look at making it sinister - she would introduce the surgical instruments to me with a smiling, reassuring face to me as I was looking at her with fear. And when she turned her face away from me, she would have a look of evil on her face.


We finished today at 8pm. For tomorrow's session, we will come back to this scene and work on more drama on my part (after being given the implant), and look at making the reaction dramatic with dance too.

ONE MORE THING... Did you know that Billy is also a keen world traveler? As well as meeting Deaf people around the world, Billy also loves to travel and explore different cultures, foods and stunning scenery. You can follow Billy's photographic journey as a Deaf traveler on Instagram: @thedeafexplorer

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