A photo of a group of young performers and Associate Director Helen Baggett controlling various parts of a paper puppet, during a Gecko workshop.

26 Jun Blog | THURSTON PROJECT – Student Blog 5

Prior to this session, I was anxious about how the performance was going to come together as I didn’t think we had very much material that was solid and I had missed the previous rehearsal due to my Dance exam.

When the day finished, I felt very accomplished. I was really happy at how well the performance went! It ran very smoothly, and we worked incredibly well as a unit; probably the best we have ever worked.

The most challenging aspect of working with GECKO, was adapting to its unique style. The constant energy and abstract ideas and concepts eventually worked their way into me, and I started to flow and incorporate my ideas into the sections we were given – i.e. floor pattern routine, paper and objects.

The most rewarding element of working with GECKO was performing the piece as a whole. I really enjoyed it because I saw it as a mixture between theatre and dance; the way we have to fluidly move between one section to the next with discipline and a purpose gave the piece so much energy – it was brilliant to be involved in!

A photo of young performers operating a puppet amid blue lighting, during a Gecko workshop performance.

Surprising? Well, after watching the performance back in class, I was surprised to see just how amazing it looked considering how little time we had to run it through, and for Helen to add music and lighting with Matt. I didn’t have doubts about it, but it was very reassuring to see that our (crammed) hard work definitely paid off.

Regarding future work, it’s opened my mind when it comes to directing and acting; having no dialogue but sending multiple messages and allowing the audience to interpret it to how they like, but leave the performance with questions- I love that. It was also nice to speak a different language in my performance- Japanese. It was really interesting to see how the audience reacted when I started speaking it- it gained laughter at the start when I was being an incredibly stereotypical Japanese child, but as it got meaner, louder and angrier there was silence; it was very interesting to behold.

7/10 is what I would rate my experience with GECKO. I enjoyed the sessions, however sometimes they were frustrating as it was taking a long time to develop the simplest of things like the walking pattern; we spent a full lesson (100 minutes) getting that right! However, working with Helen and Georgina was a privilege and I am very grateful for the experience as it wouldn’t have been something that I would’ve wanted to do outside of school, but now I think I’m more prepared for sessions like these where the majority of elements are different than the ‘usual’.

Millie

A photo of Millie.

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