Written by Pernille Abildgaard Ullmann & edited by Katarzyna Kazimierczuk
Time is ticking, so rehearsals take priority over the morning training, which was skipped today. As usual, everything outside was wet, so we began indoors. Everyone was looking anxiously up at the skies because a journalist (Mette Grith Sørensen from the local paper Dagbladet Holstebro- Struer) was scheduled to come to Kronheden after lunch with a photographer, and we really wanted to do the rehearsal with everyone in full costume, looking their very best for the paper.
The skies did eventually clear, just short of their arrival, and Mette Grith Sørensen got to see the rehearsal in sunshine and full costumes and make up. She did interviews with Iben and also some of the members of the Winds, about the group’s history and the anniversary.
It turned out it was actually Mette herself who - 30 years ago - wrote the first article in the local paper about the first seminar at Odin Teatret called “Vindenes Bro” (The Bridge of Winds) - way before anyone knew we would still be here 30 years later!
Not long after the rehearsal was over and the journalist left, the rain suddenly came back - and this time it wasn’t playing nice. The clouds burst and water poured down everywhere!
Props, costumes, and instruments were quickly moved back into the training space, where the Winds sang some of their songs for Leo Sykes Libânio and discussed with her how they could be incorporated into the anniversary performance in Ringkøbing next week.
Weather forecasts were looking very gloomy now. Rain, rain, and lots of rain, they promised.
It seems that the Gods of The Universe who are in charge of water do not think the Winds have had enough of it this year! Because just when we were cleaning after lunch, one of the water boilers in the kitchen suddenly broke down, very dramatically. It seemed fine one minute, and the next there was hot water gushing out of it everywhere! It came so fast, that we had to empty the buckets we put under every two minutes or so, and there was no sight of a tap one could turn the water off with. And UR-NAT rehearsal was going to start soon.
One desperate call to maintenance later (“BUT… ITS EVERYWHERE, CAN YOU COME NOW, PLEASE!”), someone did come and shut the water off, and he returned the next day to fix the boiler, so we didn’t have to suffer not having hot water for long.
Dancing with the eggs.
The cardboard eggs we ordered have already arrived. Yay! Right now, they look a lot like oversized Easter eggs (which they actually are), so they need a bit of a makeover, with some paint and coating, but they have a nice size, and are sturdier than the old ones.
In one of the scenes in UR-NAT, the women are dancing the Jongo dance with them, which has a traditional Afro-Brazilian rhythm to it. Most of the Winds are capable dancers in many genres, but this particular dance proved a little harder to learn - especially the Nordic women had trouble convincing their left legs not to participate as much as they do in traditional Danish or European dances. But practice makes perfect, and so they finally did.
Friday - The Giants.
During this week, we have had two enormous boxes sitting in a little shed outside. Today we opened them and they revealed two “Giants”: huge parade figures meant to be carried on someone’s shoulders. They were designed by the French artist Fleur Marie Fuentes, who have created them with the help of volunteers from Ringkøbing town.
They are somewhat complicated to put together, but once they are up, they are amazing.
Luis Alonso and Marcos Rangel Koslowski are the lucky Winds who get to carry these enormous beauties, and they had a lot of fun trying them out and moving around with them. Luis even made up a funny voice for his character.
The Giants are a male and a female character, which fit the theme of the sea-side, as the parade will be near the harbour in Hvide Sande. And they are absolutely gorgeous and look incredible up in the air.
The festival directors.
In the afternoon, Leo Sykes Libânio was working on individual scenes with some of the Winds. We were also joined by Miguel Utreras Imilmaqui from Chile, another theatre director, who came to watch the UR-NAT rehearsals.
Miguel Utreras Imilmaqui is going to direct “Kulturfangst”, which is a parade with 400 children from the local schools in Hvide Sande - a small town on the outer edge of the Danish West Coast.
In the beginning of the year, the children from local schools participated in a workshop with Tippe Molsted and Teatret Om, to create figures and masks for the parade: fish, crabs, and other sea-creatures. The theme of the Parade and the workshops has revolved around the issue of the man-made pollution of the sea. Most of the families living in Hvide Sande depend on the sea - many work in the boat or fishing industry, so keeping the sea clean and free of plastic is a very big concern out here.
Happy Birthday Annemarie.
Today was Annemarie Waagepetersen’s Birthday. She was properly celebrated with 3 big cakes, and lots of birthday songs in many languages. The Winds do like to sing! Also, there was a live performance by Annemarie’s and Sandra’s young son Lauritz, who played “Happy Birthday” on an electronic piano.
Saturday and Sunday are two much awaited and very well-deserved days off - the first ones in this intense program - to catch our breath, rest up, and get ready for Monday and the UR-NAT Festival week, and the 30-year Anniversary of Teatret Om (and of The Bridge of Winds!).
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