SAME SAME ... BUT DIFFERENT TOUR by CIARA CLAYTON (dance teacher and rehearsal director)

I have recently joined the Sonia Sabri Company as the rehearsal director for ‘Same Same… But Different’. Having moved to the West Midlands last September I was keen to explore what was happening in the arts sector here and meet local artists and creatives. ‘Same Same… But Different’ has dancers from varied backgrounds, which was lovely to experience after so long of having limited interactions with people.

Working alongside Sonia was a new experience for both of us as we were strangers when we first met. However, very quickly after a short time spent together in the studio we began to gain an understanding of one another and I was able to comprehend Sonia’s vision for the work and what her goals and aims were. We were able to bounce off each other which made the process of bringing back the work with a new cast smooth and enjoyable.

Two out of the three current cast members have previously been in the work so there was a huge focus on making sure the piece was taught and rehearsed with the newest dancer. During this time, however, we realised that even though two of the dancers had already performed the work in the past, this was over a year ago, due to the global pandemic and they have changed and developed as people and artists. Therefore, it was important for them to spend time working on the movement again to make sure it was authentic to their current selves.

For all of us in this rehearsal the experience of being back in the studio was new as we have spent so little time in the studio and in close physical contact with other people since last March. Even though this felt a little odd at first, very quickly we all came to appreciate how special this was. From the arduous cleaning of material, setting formations and rehearsing timing to delving into the intentions and exploring creative decisions of the piece, I found every moment engaging and exciting due to the nature of the work.

‘Same Same… But Different’ is doing a tour of libraries this summer around England and I think this will allow many children to experience dance and the arts in a way they may not normally. 

Not every child has the opportunity to go to the theatre and it can also be hard to find theatre pieces suitable for young children. It is so important to bring professional dance work into an accessible and common place for children such as a library as it will hopefully spark creativity and allow  them to see things in a different way which they may not have seen before. I think it will also be enjoyable for them to see live dance after spending so much time experiencing life through a screen recently.

I am looking forward to more of our rehearsals and watching the show go on tour and I can not wait to see live dance in the libraries!

The tour will visit 26 libraries and spaces across England from 27 July-26 August.

Full tour details are listed on our website under calendar:
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