Thursday 27th April
We have started the dance routine to the version on Youtube that we have all been listening to. We haven’t run through the song with the singers yet, but we have only just started. This won’t be the exact version we will be using, however I think it will be very similar but just an instrumental version. That’s the impression we have anyway of what the song will be like. I hope the song will be similar though, because it makes our lives extremely stressful and all of our hard work may have gone to waste.
Thursday 4th May
The dancers used this lesson to carry on with the routine. Myself and Jess were in acting, but we were allowed to leave so we could see and learn it. Since nearly all of us were there we carried on with the routine and only have 8 counts left which is great! I’m really happy that they had progressed so far without us there and we learnt the steps pretty quickly, I haven’t got the steps clean, but I know them enough to be able to practise them in my own time at home.
Friday 5th May
The singers for Bring On The Men had a session with Bethany today, we were unclear if we were meant to be there or not. However since we were only singing the last chorus and we all knew the song then we thought collectively as a group that it wouldn’t be beneficial to the dancers, and should only be for the singers as they need more help with the song and it’s pitching. They also hadn’t had a chance to go through it with somebody like Bethany and so she helped them out with tuning and how they should perform the song. I think this was the best decision because we needed to really crack the dance and the singers needed that session more than we did, plus we only sing the chorus in unison and we all know the lyrics and how it goes.
Tuesday 9th May
It has been an extremely stressful day! We haven’t had any communication with the singers through out this entire process and they have just bought a backing track for the routine. This is all fine and well except it’s almost like a completely different song. If they were going to look at backing tracks they should have involved us so we could decide as a team what song to buy. This means they now have an issue because it’s much harder to sing and we need to re-choreograph the entire routine! Even after editing the song. The instrumental part wasn’t similar in any way and so that was instantly cut, luckily the next verse sounds like our original dance part it’s just a little bit longer. However we now having something that we can actually work with. Faye and Zoe have spent a lot of the season session this afternoon with Sarah to get some choreography sorted and thankfully we planned to meet up on Wednesday to practise anyway so we can start learning it and focus on that. This has really frustrated me and even though Emma is meant to be the director I feel like she didn’t do her job well and has been far too lax with her position that it has effected all of us.
The routine is slower, but there are some parts that Faye and Zoe haven’t changed and so I already know them which makes it easier for me to learn. However there are lots of slow hand movements in the beginning which I’ll just need to remember and I can take my time as well with the movements as like I said they’re quite slow. Although I quite like them because we’re meant to look sexy and this definitely helps us to be like that. Unfortunately only 1 out of the 3 singers were in college that day even though Beth came in later for Bonnie and Clyde she wasn’t available for this rehearsal. We asked Emma to sing although because the song is quite different she struggled a bit with timing, but Jess had been through it a few times and helped her sing through it a few times as we danced. It was useful that we had someone to sing it, but annoyingly Emma has a lot of issues with the song and all of our timing relies on the lyrics to be sang at the right time. Hopefully this gets sorted soon and I’m sure Jess won’t mind helping her. Sadly she then had a lesson and even though it wasn’t a very long one she decided not to return to sing for us even though the practise would have helped her as well.
Emma and Lou were very helpful and videoed the new dance for us so that we could watch it and learn it. However Emma was unaware that she had videoed the entire dance routine in slow motion. This made it extremely difficult to watch and learn because it was just so slow. Lou apologised for this and has found out that she can speed it up which is great, however she also said she would post it up for us, but that hasn’t seemed to happen yet. Here is the slow motion video of the dance.
We did a stumble run today of the entire show. For Bring On The Men it didn’t go very well, because of the complications with the slow motion video most of us didn’t know the new steps. Admittedly some of us looked like idiots, but we did have a reason it wasn’t down to laziness or not caring. However we have planned a few days where we will go over the routine and work on it so that it is stuck in our heads and ready for the show in a couple of weeks. I was really embarrassed to be honest because it was becoming such a strong dance and now because of all this nonsense with the new song it has thrown us a bit and has also taken all the joy out of doing it. I know I’m not the only one who is sick of doing it which is a shame because it’s a great routine and it makes it harder for us to put all of our energy and effort into it, and that’s not what we ever wanted.
We had a rehearsal today and Lynn decided to watch it and give us some tips and help us as we’re still not confident with the entire routine. We did not video the session, but Lynn wrote a witness statement and here it is:
Witness statement 18th May 2017
Rehearsal for ‘Bring on the Men’ song/dance number for ‘Saints and Sinners’
1.15 – 2.30 Room EO44
Dancers: Chloe Gilbert, Zoe Mills, Faye Radford, Vicky Wilson, Jess Last, Sophia Lerigo
Waitresses: Beth Easdown, Emma Croft, Sian Davis
Assistant: Daytona Florian
Staff: Sarah Berrington, Lynn Whitehead
The first run through was slightly chaotic – no-one was quite ready to concentrate and it fell apart slightly. Daytona gave some notes about timing of the singing and open-positioning of the dancers’ chairs.
Then the group ran through just to listen to the track as the timing is quite difficult. At this first run- through Jess and Faye backed Emma singing on the first verse and Beth kept time on the most difficult part of the song as it’s a pre-recorded backing track with several rallentando and accelerando sections.
Before the second run through, Zoe and Chloe and a couple of the others went to collect the dance skirts which everyone felt would help the characterisation of the dancers. Meanwhile Emma, Beth and Sian worked on the singing of the opening of the verses. Daytona went to fetch the completed scripts to give out.
Staff gave some notes about characterisation – the waitresses needed to react to each other as they sang their separate parts and the dancers needed to let their faces show character as well as their movements. There was discussion about what the attitude of the whole group should be towards the other characters on stage (for example the ‘Posh’ boys’ group) and how that could be expressed. Sarah talked quickly through the dance moves in order to clarify some things that were still unsure:- a cross-over point that only Chloe had remembered and a section for Jess as she had missed an earlier rehearsal.
The timing was much more accurate on this run.
On the third run, Emma sang solo and pitched well on her verse so felt confident to do it without back up. We talked briefly about ‘talk-singing’ the first phrases
and tried it out, but Emma preferred to go for singing it. Sian tripped up on a couple of the words for her verse but found herself back quickly and on time. Beth stomped out the tricky timing to bring everyone in on time.
The dancing was more character driven and it made the piece more confident and interesting to watch. Vicky and Sophia could both do a little more to look like they’re teasing the audience and enjoying it which will ensure that any glitches on timing are not the most noticeable thing.
The dancers sorted out the positioning of their feet in the leaning-line close to the end of the song and everyone sang out boldly on the final note.
Lynn suggested that Beth should actually clap out the difficult rhythm ‘flamenco’ style to help the group keep together.
It was a really helpful rehearsal because we were with the singers and it was the first time we had a proper rehearsal with all three of them. It also gave us an idea of what it will look like now that we have run it a few times. It was great for Lynn to come and watch and help us as well as she really helped the singers and suggested different ways to make it easier for us to dance and for Emma to sing. It was so great that we went through it a few times as well, because if Lynn wasn’t there I know for a fact the singers would think of an excuse to leave and we may have only had one run through and it probably wouldn’t have even been good.
We went through the dance thoroughly with Helena. It was really good, because we went through every single step and confirmed what everyone was doing every time. It was so good for us as well, because some of us did think we did something differently and so it was good to confirm this. Unfortunately I had to leave in the middle of the rehearsal as I was then meant to go and rehearse with Lynn for the Melodrama, however I was confident with the rest of the dance it was mainly the details and technicalities that I had an issue with, but after today it was really helpful.