Read all about Dance Ambassador Leah’s whirlwind trip to Paris in November.
In 24 hours?
The blowing of whistles, rhythmic clatter of train wheels on steel and low level chatter, herald our arrival into the city. Our party of dance professionals from all over the UK, disembarked the Eurostar with excitement. Being on a tight schedule, there was no time to stop and get our bearings as we joined a fast flowing stream of Parisians to meet our connection. Standing on the platform, waiting for the train that would take us out to Sceaux where the evenings performance was being held, we realized with a growing sense of dread; we were boarding a commuter train at rush hour. What followed was mercifully brief, but far too much like fifty goldfish in a very small bowl to offer any form of comfort.
Throwing our bags down, Charlie: marketing executive at The Lowry, and I reconvened to jot down questions for the two dancers we would interview before the show. Having already been told there may be a rather large language barrier, we remained fairly confident we could ask all the burning questions we had.
Bustling out of the hotel half an hour after entering the whole party set off, on what we had been told would be a ten minute walk, and ended as a forty-five minute wander. With iphones, google maps, directions from dustbin-men and a little bit of sheer blind luck we found the theatre and ran into our interview.
The next scene is a little more placated. Picture two twenty-something dance lovers with a notebook full of questions and little-to-no French. Facing two French dancers, a little under an hour away from a performance with little English. A translator and a video camera bridging the gap. The interview went better than we could have hoped, with the aid of our translator we asked all of the questions we had scribbled down earlier in the day and received fascinating and eloquent answers in return. The dancers were simply lovely, and their passion for dance ran deep as did their love of the piece. We exited the dressing room full of thanks and clutching the video camera tightly.
Our adventure was not quite over and a wrong turn on our way back to the foyer to rejoin our party saw us standing on the stage, all ready for the performance, an eerie and beautiful world of its own. I hate to give too much away but think wrought iron gates, high backed chairs, a boxing ring that could have been designed by Tim Burton and a chess-board for a floor.
The performance itself was spellbinding. The athleticism of the dancers, combined with the romance of a violin quartet and the hypnotic rhythm of boxing prove to be a most enchanting mix. Evidently the rest of the audience felt the same and cries of ‘encore’ and ‘bravo’ rang out the moment the dancers assembled for a bow.
[A little aside]
Boxe Boxe performed by Compagnie Käfig, translates literally as Boxing Boxing. The piece fuses the athleticism of dance with the prowess of street dance, finding a magnificent middle ground with a large dose of humour for good measure. The company will be touring the UK in 2014, and come to The Lowry in April
The next day Charlie and I had given ourselves a mini mission for our Saturday in the city of Paris. To #danceanywhere and dance everywhere was our plan. A military like operation ensued; making sure we danced across Paris, and did so before our return to London.
And dance we did
We danced at Notre Dame. We danced at the Louvre, we danced at the Eiffel tower, the Sacré-Cœur, and the Arc-de-Triomphe. We then danced our way to Montmartre for a celebratory crêpe and then it was homewards bound.
Keep an eye on our twitter feed, as we will be posting more #danceanywhere pictures from the trip in due course.
And what of our footage? Of our interview and all the delights we picked up along the way?
Well you will just have to watch this space….