Moments of Unity

Hello!

In this blog I wanted to briefly talk about the ideas of UNITY and INDIVIDUALITY in an ensemble - and how they are vital when the going gets tough!

Whilst on our recent tour, we encountered new challenges every day. Even though ours was short, touring comes with new pressures: adjusting to new spaces, performing every night, juggling marketing in-between shows. It's a lot. And we found that we each had different ways of handling this.

A key moment for myself was in Whitstable, almost at the end of our tour. I felt exhausted - it had been a long week, and the stress of whether people would come, combined with flyering on the day, had left me really struggling to get going. As the rest of GOLKK began warming up, I had to go and take a nap! I had zero adrenaline, and this was scaring me. Luke suggested a pumping warm up, Olaf gave a massage and Kristin was providing motivational music - but nothing worked. So I took space alone to rest. 

But as the performance time approached, costumes on and ready to go, we had a fire alarm! We ended up having to wait outside for an hour with our audience - half dressed and seriously nervous about what would happen.

So we huddled together, and decided that we would not let this audience leave without a show. We found a space outside to perform, told our audience to bare with us, and began to set up for a spontaneous outdoor show! Luckily we managed to get into the venue to perform, but the experience showed that when faced with a challenge, we were united in our response. Suddenly my earlier fears were forgotten. We shared the nerves and the excitement, rallied our audience, and pulled through. 

I think what I am trying to say with this anecdote, is that we are really an ensemble of individuals. We have our differing personalities and needs, but we also have a commonality which ties us together. John Britton says it best with the following quote:

 
" THE ENSEMBLE SHARES FOUNDATIONS BUT CELEBRATES THE UNIQUE STRUCTURES THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL BUILDS FROM THOSE FOUNDATIONS,  JUST AS IN A FOREST, EVERY TREE IS UNIQUE BUT ALL ARE ROOTED IN THE SAME EARTH."    (John Britton, 2010)

"THE ENSEMBLE SHARES FOUNDATIONS BUT CELEBRATES THE UNIQUE STRUCTURES THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL BUILDS FROM THOSE FOUNDATIONS, JUST AS IN A FOREST, EVERY TREE IS UNIQUE BUT ALL ARE ROOTED IN THE SAME EARTH." (John Britton, 2010)

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John Britton's ideas on what makes an ensemble have always resonated with us, and his description of the ensemble as a forest captures perfectly the balance between individuality and unity in GOLKK. 

Britton, John (2010) What is it? The 'it'-ness of ensemble. In: Encountering Ensemble, 16 September 2010, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

This version is available here, and more on John Britton here.