The Much Ado Blog – Dancing Days

Hello there and welcome to the Much Ado blog. I am Joseph and, for my first time with SMP, I am joining the production team as Choreographer. I must say that It is both a scary and exciting prospect.

I say scary because we have a really talented team of stalwart choreographers that work on the majority of SMP’s musicals and pantomimes and so to fill their shoes is a very daunting prospect. I have taught and choreographed a variety of projects for myself and other agencies in the past but to take on a role that is usually filled by such loved and respected individuals is something that you just don’t want to get wrong and, whilst being a wonderful opportunity to explore creatively, you want to ensure that you are honouring the standards of excellence that SMP have become known for. So, I was just a little bit scared taking on the role!

I say exciting because, having been a performing member of SMP for years and years, I have been interested in choreographing one of their shows for a long time but for one reason or another, it has never been quite the right time. This is a really unique opportunity for SMP to work in a slightly different way and, as a choreographer, the idea of promenade is an intriguing one because our audience will, to all intense purposes, be able to view the work from a number of angles and so this challenges you to think creatively about positioning and travelling.

Having the backdrop of Bury Lodge Park and Gardens as our setting will be truly magical and is such an exciting prospect- I can’t wait to start rehearsing in the grounds. I am also thrilled to be working with Dave, Kate and Warren on the production team. I have had the honour of being directed, produced and musically directed by them all in the past and of course performing alongside them and I can honestly say that they are a very talented bunch who achieve amazing things. Most importantly, I count myself very fortunate to be working with such a talented group of performers. They really have been superstars this past few weeks.

The last few weeks have been choreography. Most of the cast are more familiar with learning a song and then learning some choreography to perform whilst singing it but with Much Ado, the choreography is interspersed within the action and the actors become the dancers at a party or at a ball. The majority probably didn’t expect to be doing so much company dancing in this show but they truly have thrown themselves into our rehearsals. I have been so proud of their hard work and enthusiasm- rehearsals really have been fun and full of laughter. As with all rehearsals, sometimes people cannot be there but I have been so impressed with individual’s dedication to watching rehearsal videos so that they are not behind. I can honestly say that I have left each rehearsal smiling, feeling encouraged and looking forward to the next.

I can’t wait to see everything interweaving as we start to bring together the singers with the acting and dance sequences. I think that this will be the perfect platform to show the combined array of talent that our performers have. It is going to be a wonderful experience and I for one can’t wait for show week. I really encourage you to book tickets to join us and to be part of something special.

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