Gifted and talented dancers have the opportunity to take part in a performance and fireworks spectacular at Boughton House this autumn. Dance company Metro Boulot-Dodo are running workshops with schools across the county to encourage young dancers to sign up for auditions.
Choreographer David McKenna led a workshop with our BTEC performing arts students teaching them sequences from the show and demonstrating technical skills including lifting techniques. He, along with Esther Simpson from the dance company, told students about the opportunity to audition for The Gunpowder Plot. Dancers who make it through the audition process will attend Saturday workshops and a half term residency at the Core in preparation for the performances on 5, 6 and 7 November.
Dancer Megan Cornhill from Year 12, who took part in the workshop, said: ‘We filmed the session and used it as evidence for our course for movement in performance. It was a lot of group work with spontaneous movement and interacting with the other dancers in our class.
‘I am definitely going to audition as it is a really good opportunity. We learned about the connection between Northamptonshire and the Gunpowder Plot. We were expecting it to be quite drama based but thankfully it was more movement based so that made us feel a bit more at home, but we had to stay in character. I have heard a lot about the show as a couple of friends of mine did it last year and they thoroughly enjoyed it.’
Esther said: ‘We taught the students sequences from the show and then the workshop ended with some close contact work as there are sequences where the performers get lifted so they were learning some technical skills. The students have responded really well, they are a lovely group, very focused, very respectful and they gave 110 per cent commitment.
‘We are looking for people who have the amazing combination of being fantastic dancers but also fantastic performers. We are also looking for a lot of male performers because the Gunpowder plot involved 13 men. The dancers should be committed, focussed people who really want this to be their career. It is the opportunity to work with a professional company in a professional environment so it is a real opportunity for gifted and talented students.'
The Gunpowder Plot was a sell-out last year and this year there are three performances at Boughton House, each one expected to attract a capacity crowd of 2,000. As well as dance each performance includes a soundtrack, large projections against the buildings and a firework display finale. Bookings can be made through the Core or the Royal and Derngate box offices.