Rehearsals with dancers started 3 weeks before and aimed to block and practice improvisation to the music. Also, it was to develop more of a structure for the work.
Rehearsal one: Theatre space
I entered with more structures than I needed for the movement. I asked the dancers to pass on a movement to the other dancer to create a kind of chain reaction, going from one place to the next. After watching the videos back it didn't really work as well as I'd hoped.
I decided that the dancers would start in the audience seats with the audience and then look up to a point where you would expect to see the platform number of the train a customer would want to catch, and they left as if they were going to board a train, fairly naturalistically. We also played around with group movements where the dancers bundled together and bounced on the spot to show that they were waiting to get on the train. Here I wanted to show that they were all linked.
Rehearsal two: Ravensfield theatre
After reflecting on rehearsal one, I decided to simplify the movement to just slow motion improvisation. I set the dancers a time-frame to get from one end of the line (marking where the sheet would be) to the other which was 5 minutes. With the music, I think slow motion really worked because it shows how time can appear to slow down when you're on a train compared to the actual speed from the outside. I instructed the dancers to focus on starting movements in one point of their body and drawing attention to connecting each joint to that movement making a sequence - for example if I was to start a movement from my hand I would move my hand then wrist, then forearm then elbow then upper arm instead of focusing on one solid movement. I also said for the dancers to respond to the levels of the person in front of them in the line so that they were not doing the same thing - not aiming to be totally opposite from the person - but just ensuring their not copying.
After a couple of runs of this, I then asked for a variation - to see the slow motion movement with one person occasionally performing a very sudden movement in order to add a change - this could be related to fast movements and changes that occur during a train journey.
In this rehearsal I wanted to try adding in another variation to the overall structure of the piece. Until this point I had set up that the dancers were split into two groups in the audience space for 5 minutes and then travelled for 5 minutes in the same direction and repeated this on the alternative sides. The variation included different routes for each of the groups. Instead of 2 groups I decided it would be better to rotate 3 groups so that one group would always be in the centre and to alternate the directions of the dancers more as well.