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4 February 2009

StopGAP are an internationally recognised Dance Company. Having completed a whirlwind UK tour of their acclaimed Portfolio Collection they are now preparing for the Caravan International Event, which is taking place to coincide with the Brighton Festival

Photo of StopGap dancers Dan Watson and Laura Jones.

Photo of StopGap dancers Dan Watson and Laura Jones.

Laura Jones talks about StopGAP's performance at The Place, London

StopGAP performed at Robin Howard Theatre at The Place on 8th and 9th April 2008. The first day was hectic…manic, but we were all so excited about having two days on stage at The Place. It was also really good to work in a well-equipped space with very helpful staff.

The first day for us was very busy because the technical team had to carry on with our get-in in the morning, a photo shoot at 3pm, a run-through, a touch tour, the all important performance, then a post-show talk!

I wasn’t nervous on our first night because there just wasn’t any time to be, but I am sure I was subconsciously nervous; I didn’t sleep very well the nights before, and I dreamed about the performance often. The show was very well received though, and it was great to see so many people in the audience.

The second day was much less stressful because we were better settled, and had more time to ourselves. The performance went well too, and we had a great party afterwards!

We are preparing for our Caravan showcase this week, and we are still working on editing our 90 minutes Portfolio Collection down to 20 minutes. This is proving to be quite a task…more on that later this week.

Dan Watson and Chris Pavia ponder on the oncoming challenges of editing the Portfolio Collection for Caravan

Caravan sounds like it’s going to be a bit of a landmark for StopGAP. It's quite an undertaking to be performing alongside such high caliber dance artists. However it's going to be quite unusual to reduce The Portfolio Collection (albeit three of the pieces) down to a 20mins theatrical trailer of sorts. The Collection has evolved and re-invented itself so many times over the two years it's hard to know what the definitive version is. As such it is never finished and so it's hard to feel any sense of accomplishment (or indeed failure) as there is always 'the next time' when the collection is refined and re-imagined into its next experiment. So it shouldn't be such a surprise that the powers that be want a selected highlights version.

The hardest thing to consider is keeping a sense of flow whilst still presenting a coherent and accurate taster of each of the selected pieces. At the moment the dancers are referring to it as the StopGAP mega-mix with as much affection as irony (can't help but think of those really tacky "party mix" records that are played at bad weddings and embarrassing family parties, StopGAP does Jive Bunny!).

We get down to it tomorrow and I'm sure we've all got different ideas of how it can work. Just hope it does! We’ll let you know how we get on.

We are Ready for Caravan! Vicki Balaam, Artistic Director

The Caravan rehearsals have gone really well. We have successfully chopped and changed our repertoires, and created a presentable 20-minute work. We are performing modified versions of Hofesh Shechter, Gary Clarke, and Rob Tannion. We are also being filmed by a documentary film crew for the first time, and it will interesting to have camera on us as we as we warm up etc… if a little scary! It’s very exciting to be performing alongside other established companies in the region, and we’re looking forward to going down to Brighton, now that the weather is finally warmer. Fish and chips on the beach here we come! The Caravan showcase at 6pm on Tuesday 13th May is open to the public, so please come and see us if you can! Contact Komedia in Brighton for ticketing info. Hope to see you there.

Chris Pavia comments on the success of Caravan Showcase

The Caravan performance went really well last week. We got a huge cheer from the audience, and all the foreign delegates said they liked our work a lot. Many of them were talking to Vicki, Denise and Sho at the interval. We even had someone crying at the end of Rob Tannion’s piece! The technicians at Komedia were really nice too, and very helpful. There was a man wearing a Superman T-shirt called Richard, and he was cool. We also had a documentary filmmaker filming us. They were running around a lot when we were rehearsing, so hopefully, they got some amazing video of us!

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