Everybody Dance Now Blog

Canterbury Ninjas – Looking back

Posted by on 19 January 2015

November 2014

It was quick. It was pressured.It was awesome.

In Canterbury at the Gulbenkian we decided to do a three day intensive and create a short pre-show to warm the audience up. For the first day and a half we worked creatively as I wanted the group to have ownership of the material we created, and for it to be THEIR work. We looked at Krump, House, Popping, Locking and Breaking – we then looked at some martial arts movements. We created our own martial arts styles which included Robin, Seagull, Wolf and Elephant styles, and then we matched these to relatable hip hop styles. There was some very good positions – especially from Elephant Style!

The creative phase was harder for the group to click with because it seemed a little out of their comfort zone, but we pushed through and ended up with a vast collection of movement vocabulary to use in our creation over the next day and a half.

This first picture is me on the morning of day three – a little bit unsure of how the group were going to pull it all together. But guess what they did! and did it well!
They bonded as a group and really got into the qualities of their movements – especially after Azaria had drilled them on the importance of clear hand positions (Blade, Fan, Fist – she has hawk eyes for hand detail!)

We completed out pre-show performance which came to a total of 6:32mins – Impressive for 3 days work.

We got to the Gulbenkian on Saturday afternoon where we got used to our performance space and Jodie from Boy Blue came and did some training with the group to warm them up. We were also lucky enough to have the boss man, Kenrick, in Canterbury to watch the show and one of our dancers got a master class in Kung Fu intention in his movements. He is an impressive force to be around and our “Canterbury Ninjas” felt it.

Before the show started the group got to meet the cast on stage and share in their pre-show focus circle. They all seemed to be very impressed with the warm up the cast was doing and the energy they were giving off. Smiles all around.

Show time came and growing crowd come to see what the set up was about. The music started and they did an excellent job. There energy was spot on and they delivered an excellent piece – That they had created in only 3 days.
They were all buzzing at the end of it as the audience gave them a huge clap before entering the theatre for the main show.

They all did extremely well and improved and learnt a lot since the first day.

I hope they will continue their journey into their movement practice and explore their abilities more in the future.

Canterbury Ninjas signing out.