Volition: the story so far (part two)

19 Feb

Greetings and welcome back. Or, if you’re just joining us thanks to a slip of the wrist and an accidental click on your, or someone else’s Facebook feed: welcome. You might want to catch up by reading (part one) or just cannonball right in and keep going.

Caroline Lynch at JOLT:Volition WillFredd's workshop

Caroline Lynch at JOLT:Volition WillFredd’s workshop

The last workshop of 2013 was with Noeline Kavanagh of Macnas. The participants spent a Saturday in Fisheries Field exploring a range of techniques and exercises using music, puppetry and imagery. Coming away from the workshop, many participants felt they had more tools to work on their pieces alone, beyond the group, which was excellent timing as we were planning on beginning our presentations in the new year (more on this below). As one Volition artist put it, the workshop  gave ‘tasters of different methods for devising, coming at it through the idea of “truth” and authenticity within performance.’

So, since last we typed the eight Volition artists have started developing their pieces in earnest. On the Saturday of each weekend workshop we have a short presentation of their ideas, and in some cases even a performance, and as a group we discuss the possibilities, influences and imagery that this conjures. In this way the artists are making decisions about their pieces, and the group feedback and subsequent email exchanges, along with the devising processes explored in each workshop, help to shape and move those decisions on.

Cathal Leonard and Evan Lordan during the JOLT:Volition WillFredd workshop

Cathal Leonard and Evan Lordan during the JOLT:Volition WillFredd workshop

In January WillFredd Theatre came to play and how! The Volition artists were set the task of gathering information about Nun’s Island (apostrophe still in dispute) as Nun’s Island Theatre was the base for the workshop. Some participants found themselves in the cloister of the Poor Clares nunnery down the road while others chatted to local grocers and vigorously investigated the place name’s grammar. What emerged from the three days was a kind of diffused abstract on the many elements gathered over the two days complete with live projections, soundtrack and lighting. It was the sort of weekend that caused one of our participants to term it ‘liberating and really inspiring. It was the kind of workshop I needed to help me think outside the box.’ (By the way, WillFredd’s new show CARE is at Project Arts Centre until 1st March 2014).

Inside the Poor Clares convent, Galway

Inside the Poor Clares convent, Galway

In February the artists pulled on their tracksuits and limbered up for a workshop with the pioneering Junk Ensemble, also at Nun’s Island Theatre. Again, over a weekend they looked at new methods of devising, particularly through movement, exaggerating physicality, dismantling and reconstructing whole pieces and playing with text. This was the first time the participants got to use these methods individually and apply them directly to their own work within the workshop. One of the participants spoke of the ‘powerful moments distilled from a source of clear authenticity. Impressive stuff indeed’. The resulting pieces, ranging from the interactive to the off-site, the dimly lit to the silent, reminded us how different these eight voices really are.

Evan Lordan and Emma O'Grady look on as Siobhán Donnellan performs at JOLT:Volition  Junk Ensemble's workshop

Evan Lordan and Emma O’Grady look on as Siobhán Donnellan performs at JOLT:Volition Junk Ensemble’s workshop

So, just two workshops to go: Conor Hanratty and Thomas Conway then a heap of production meetings, feedback and preparation before a big fat week of rehearsal (maybe with cameos from some special guests) and onto the Town Hall main stage for 17th May (mark it in the diary). We won’t feel it now.

Below: Martin Maguire performs as part of JOLT:Volition’s Junk Ensemble workshop; Eve Vaughan performs outdoors as part of Junk Ensemble’s workshop; a sample of the links shared by Volition participants over the past two months

Martin Maguire performs as part of JOLT:Volition's Junk Ensemble workshop

Martin Maguire performs as part of JOLT:Volition’s Junk Ensemble workshop

Eve Vaughan performs outdoors as part of the JOLT:Volition Junk Ensemble workshop

Eve Vaughan performs outdoors as part of the JOLT:Volition Junk Ensemble workshop

http://goangetstough.tumblr.com/?og=1

http://www.margolismethod.org/

http://www.archivotellas.com.ar/kid.html

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