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Post two: Audition Process

Hello hello again!

I thought I'd start by letting you know that Frog in Hand was the recipient of a federal Summer Jobs Grant, which provides funding for small companies to hire students (like me) to get full time work in a field relevant to their studies! Therefore, all eight of us in the summer company are emerging dance artists who will be returning to school full time next year. In order to find appropriate candidates for the summer company, Frog in Hand held auditions, and this week I thought I’d talk a little about that process!

The audition was about three hours. We warmed up with Rohan Dhupar (our Choreographic and Rehearsal Intern) to get our bodies ready to move. Then Mayumi Lashbrooke (a long-time Frog In Hand collaborator), taught us an excerpt of a piece called Checkmate (premiere 2013). Checkmate takes place on a large chessboard, and each dancer plays a chess piece on either the white or black team. In the audition, we learned a little segment of the piece and then had a chance to face off against each other and embody the diverse characters. We’ll be remounting Checkmate for Canada Day Celebrations at the Living Arts Centre on July 1st. Finally we finished the audition with some improvisation tasks and Gaga led by Alvin Collantes (who will be dancing in the Fringe show).

Photo by Claire Whitaker

From my background in academia, I am pretty comfortable in high-stress testing situations, and am good at handling the stress of auditions (trying my best is the best I can do!), but Colleen and the Frog in Hand collaborators definitely made this audition a really positive experience! Because of the nature of the choreography we learned and the improvisational tasks we worked on, there was a really playful energy in the room, which was really refreshing in an audition environment. It was so lovely to meet and be inspired by so many young artists coming out of high school and dancers who come from completely different post-secondary training backgrounds. The diversity present at the audition reminded me that the emerging Toronto dance community is expansive and rich, and has a great deal to offer! Frog in Hand fostered a really unique and supportive audition environment, and I had a lot of fun!

To wrap this blog up, the Summer Apprentice Company rehearsals are in full swing now. We are preparing for the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, the Toronto Fringe Festival, Mississauga Ribfest, a performance at a local school, and a host of other exciting things. Our first shows are this week! I'll keep you posted about the rehearsal processes for each of these works, so stay tuned!

- Clarke Blair


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