Elsa Ekström

The jungel book – our last production

During our last year of high school we have worked with a dance and theater production as our last prodject before graduating. Before we had christmas break we got to know what theme the production were going to have, a new version of the jungle book by Alexander Mörk Eidem.
In our version of the jungle book we choose to replace Kilping's Indian Jungle against a dystopic Stockholm future. Here in Stockholm is Mowgli hanging out with wolves who took care of her when Shere Khan murdered her parents. There are a lot of danger in the jungle that Mowgli encounter during her journey and she has to find herself in a world that has difficulty accepting those who are different. 

It has been a long process with some ups and downs but in the end it has been so much fun. When the intensive week started after Christmas break we mainly focused on working in our production groups. There were five different groups, makeup and hair, costume, multimedia, scenography and marketing. I was in the marketing group and I am so happy with my choice! We have gotten along well and everything we have had to do got done easily. We started our work in marketing by dividing the tasks. My focus was going to be the event on Facebook and the program sheet. This changed slightly as the time went by and I got the responsibility of the trailer instead of the program sheet. I have also fixed so we got free flyers and posters and have had the contact with the printing offices. Lisa (one of the girls in my group) and I also went down to the town in Skara and asked about sponsoring. The work in marketing required a lot of planning but by doing that everything got done without any bigger complications.  

While working in production groups the students who study theatre started practicing their lines and we dancers slowly started choreographing and learning dances. In the beginning the process with choreographing and learning dances went kind of slow so many of us were stressed and eager to get ahead in the process but as the time went by more and more dances got done. It was a lot of ups and downs before the Easter break. Many of us were tired which led to some unnecessary comments etc. I felt that it took a lot of energy and it was nice after the break when everybody came back with a better attitude.

The last month before premier the time just flu by and us dancers stayed a few times after school to get everything done in time. After a whole weekend rehearsing before the premier the production were starting to get into place and the days leading up to the premier we went through the show over and over again so we really had it in our bodies and felt confident. We got a lot of notes from the teachers to help us to get it as good as it could be which was very good. When the premier came a few days later we managed to pull off a pretty good performance and had a lot of fun doing it. 

My role in this production was mainly to dance but I also had a few lines and I was a part of a few scenes together with some of the other dancers. Beside that I helped as a stage hand. 

Under the process I have tried to come up with ideas to dances and take my responsibility to practice the dances at home. I really wanted to do my very best in our last production before graduating so I have tried doing the dances as good as I could by doing every move bigger and more accurately. As I wrote earlier I also challenged myself by having a few lines which was fun but required some extra rehearsing. But by doing the scene over and over again it felt ok.
We dancers had to focus a lot on our expression and really bring out our theater skills while working with this production. It was not only about going out on a stage and do a dance. We wanted to reinforce what happened or what was going to happen in the scene with our dances which led to us having to work extra hard with showing emotions while dancing. It was really fun but challenging. 

After all hard work rehearsing the production we finally got to perform in front of an audience. First we had the general repetition for the Esthetic program which gave us a lot of positive energy. The day after it was time for the premier. The first one was for the students at our school. We totally had 5 performances for students at our own school and secondary schools in Skara. It was fun performing for the students but I felt that you could not compare that with performing on the evenings for an audience who really wanted to be there like your family and friends. We had 3 performances on the evenings.
Overall you get a lot of energy performing in front of an audience. It is so fun and you do everything a little better and bigger. For me it gives me mainly positive energy but of course you get nervous which can lead to both positive and negative things. It also depends a little on the audience and their reaction to the performance. For example under one school performance we did not get any kinds of reactions so many or most of us in the ensemble did not feel it was so fun but on the other hand it can also give energy to show them we are worthy applause. 
I thought that the evening shows was so much fun especially the first and last one. The first because of the adrenalin you got of finally performing in front of family and friends and the last show because it was so much fun when everyone gave it their all and enjoyed performing on stage one last time. It was a bittersweet feeling when we thanked for the applause one last time after a long process with a lot of rehearsing.

I feel that this process has been a great journey with a lot of ups and downs. It has required a lot of patience, teamwork and willingness to do a great production. I felt like we grew and reached a higher and higher level every time we did the production (except once when we had a little dip) and in the end all the extra hours was worth it. We have also gotten a lot of positive comments from the audience which always is great to hear. I have not seen any videos of the production yet but I hope that I feel that I personally did an ok job and I am positive that we as an ensemble did a great job but of course there is always things you can do better. But as of now I am pleased with our work and I had a blast doing it. 

#1 - Frida Berlin

Vad skönt att det gick så bra i din grupp utan att det blev några större komplikationer! Bra att du har tagit ditt egna ansvar med att vara aktiv på danslektioner och kommit med egna idéer och övat mycket hemma. Imponerande att du vågade att utmana dig själv med att ha repliker också! Jag håller med till till 100 % att det har varit upp och ner som en berg och dalbana och att det verkligen har varit en resa! Bra jobbat Elsa :)

#2 - Anonym

Vad bra att ni dansare bestämde att ha kvällsrep för att få danserna bättre och att du växte efter varje produktion. Modigt och bra jobbat med replikerna i produktionen. Bra att du kände att det var en bra upplevelse trots både upp och nergångar.
Jättebra jobbat! :)

#3 - Klara

(Anonym är Klara!)