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I Have Never...

Monday, February 07, 2005

First weekend - Saturday 5th Dance Workshop & The Game

So, Saturday arrives. This weekend is a busy one, and with relative short notice for people, too. We've given them the schedule on either Monday or Wednesday, with the expectation that they give up almost 50% of their Saturday and Sunday.

I get up early at 8.10. Read for an hour about sleep...(New book, very interesting - but maybe I should have got another hour's sleep instead).

I need to prepare the flat for the actual playing of the game later in the evening. This entails giving the bathroom a thorough clean, washing up a load of glasses, and organising the living room. I get my two black, triangular Ikea tables and put them together in the centre of the room to form a square. Underneath the tables I place my black, circular bin. On the table I place the following:-

1) A collection of 12 CDs, all recent, modern music ranging from Devendra Banhart to Handsome Boy Modelling School.
2) A collection of 12 DVDs, 9 of which are feature films (e.g. Memento, Magnolia, Adaptation) and 3 of which are collections of Music Videos by Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry.
3) 3 Remote Controls (Hi Fi, TV, DVD Player)
4) 9 Bottles of Alcohol (Wine, Tequila, Vodka, Jack Daniels etc.)
5) 8 Shot Glasses - 2 Sets of 4, 1 Set with a Mexican Theme (Cactii, Sombreros etc.), 1 Set Blank but in a Metal Ferris Wheel.
6) 3 Wooden Cows, 2 Blue Parents and 1 Pink Child - (Not sure why, my sister got me it for Christmas about six years ago).
7) 36 Night Lights, Grouped in 4 Sets of 9.
8) 5 Blank Tapes
9) 1 Dictaphone.

Preparations complete (after a quick trip to the supermarket for 'provisions') I then head over to Bradford for the first event of the day, a dance devising workshop with Fleur Darkin. On the way I hear from Carl that we may not have enough cast to validate playing the game at my house later. Initially feel rather irritated, but accept that it was very short notice. Decide that we'll play it by ear.

At Theatre In The Mill for 1pm. Coffee. Then over to Meeting Room 3 - the same place we had our first rehearsal. A strenuous work out/warm up then ensues. I remember muscles that I don't exercise often enough. The three things I'll take away from the workshop are:-
1) The shoe throwing game. I realise that I'd played this before, but it seemed somehow much more enjoyable with a shoe than it had when doing it in the past with a ball. First we form a circle and decide an order in which to throw the shoe to each other. I have it thrown to me by Amanda and throw it onto Michelle. Fleur then breaks the circle up and has us moving around the space, still maintaining our throwing order. This goes on for at least 30 mins.
2) The glass box game. We have to come up with 6 'statements' about a person we have loved, then select the essence from each statement. Then, we have to imagine we are in a glass box, and we have to places these six 'essences' on each face of the box. However, we can't just write it with our finger, we have to use a different, more challenging body part. I use my nose on the ceiling, an elbow, a shoulder, my tongue and my ear on the walls, and my toe on the floor. I get a carpet burn from attempting to write 'Shagtag' too fast.
3) Pushing pairs. I pair up with Michelle. The idea is to stand face to face and Person A has to back away as Person B walks across the room. There is an element of mirroring initially. The reverse happens as the room is traversed in the opposite direction. Then a new layer is applied. As Person A moves forward, they have to make a pushing contact somewhere on Person B. Person B must then respond to this impetus. This goes back and forth. The final layer is the addition of vocalisation, from using statements produced by the second game, while simultaneously pushing back and forth.

All very enjoyable. I am knackered. Most of the cast make it, and a lot is learnt. Some of us then go to the local Wetherspoons for Tea. An appetite has definitely been built up.

En masse, we go and see the show at The Mill that is attached to the workshop - Hotel by The Darkin Ensemble. It tells the tale of various individuals coming into the UK and finding work in a Hotel. It reminds me of the synopsis of Dirty Pretty Things, a film I have not seen, but involved Audrey Tautou of Amelie fame. But, you know, dance.

After the show, it becomes clear that the demise of the 'I Have Never' game would have been short sighted, as 7 of the 12 cast can make it. Cat bows out, but Emma and Carl come along. Our tech and designer Niall and Jonboy come along for the ride, and Matt arrives at about 12.30 am. When we get back to my flat, I insist on leading everyone into my front room in the dark, only illuminating it by the night lights being lit (bit hippy dippy, I know, but it lent the event a certain aura). The cast agree to the event being recorded with tape onto the dictaphone, and we commence the game.

Our mobiles come in handy. A friend's mum calls just as we are about to begin. As I know that she is a relatively open-minded lady, I ask her to suggest the first 'I Have Never'. Her suggestion is:-
"I Have Never Snorted Cocaine". Ironically, my friend has to drink.

Have I explained the game? No? Well, for the non-initiated amongst you it works as follows:-
1) Someone says something that they have never done.
2) Anyone who HAS done the thing has to drink.
3) Often people are asked to tell the story of a) Why they have never done something, or b) Why they did do something. Sometimes they are asked whether they would do the thing again. They have every right to not respond...

So the game is played. A range of topics are covered, including Sex, Death and all areas in between. The bottles of wine are finished off rapidly, soon followed by the orange juice and Diet Pepsi which the drivers and muslims amongst us have been necking instead of alcohol. 2 Blank tapes (180 minutes) worth of game is recorded, then passed onto Matt to sample/splice up/cut and mix as he sees fit. Jonboy drives some people home, while I do the honours, too. 3 people choose to kip over at mine - Nicki who flags early, Michelle and Chris.

I roll into bed at about 3.33am...

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