Last week I was lucky enough to represent DNA at an incredibly inspiring workshop on the theme of using light in theatre for early years. The session was run by Andrea Buzetti, from La Baracca theatre company in Italy, who was performing his show at ‘The Boo’ in Rossendale, The methods that he uses to develop a show are very similar to those of DNA, and his play sessions in nurseries to research and develop a wordless language for theatre with children struck a chord.
Andrea talked of the dark as the starting point for play with light and we started the session by working in a completely dark room to enable us to become more aware of our other senses. The movement exercises in the pitch black were fascinating as a way of developing a style of movement with no visual cues. We had to follow Andrea’s voice, and move about, whilst staying aware of the presence of others in the room through sound and other sensory clues.
We then started to play with light. One exercise that I loved, was painting each other with torches. This was a great way to observe detail and also to explore ways of physically moving in a space. Andrea talked of the importance of being physically engaged and open with your body language, in order to hold the attention of every member of the audience.
We had great fun playing with different beams of light, and responding creatively and freely using our bodies to tell a story or convey an idea. We also explored projecting light through different filters and playing in the beams to achieve incredibly beautiful results.
Andrea spoke of the art of communicating with young children through movement and simple expressions, emphasising that children, even at a very early age, are very astute and able to understand more than we often give them credit for. He mentioned engaging with a baby by simply dropping a ball of cotton to drift to the ground and reacting with facial expressions and no sound. This is exactly what DNA were doing in their development sessions for their latest piece for early years- ‘Cloud Child’!
Sadly, I was unable to stay to see the actual show, but fellow DNA artist, Shakera was able to see it and will be blogging separately on her thoughts.
On the way home, I had to stop several times to write down all the ideas that were swirling round my head. I came away thoroughly inspired, with plans to hook up withShakera, very soon to creatively collaborate and explore the topic further.
Thank you DNA, for sending me to this workshop. It’s so good to learn with fellow artists from a theatre company who make amazing work with methods so very close to our own.