Our final production was the Jungle Book, written by Alexander Mork Eidem. This version of the Jungle book is different from the one we are use to, so we have replaced the usual version against a diplomatic Stockholm where we bring in community issues and give the audience a mindset of how today's society is. We have had the same characters from the usual Jungle Book, but our actors have had their own character analysis that has also been reflected in the performance. Instead of playing animals we have picked up the animal in man.
We started working before Christmas with the performance this time and spent a lot of time making the performance as good as possible. We have worked separately for dance and theater, but also together with joint exercises to come closer and in production groups to make the performance possible. The groups that were found were marketing, costume, makeup, multimedia and scenography.
I have worked very hard with the dances, the theater and the costume group. With the dances, I have practiced a lot both at home after school, on study days I have come to school and practiced and of course lessons in class. We have put a lot of thought on the thought behind the dances, what feel we want, what we want to convey, and what music that would suit the best. Then we have created the dances after that. Most dances were street and the reason for this was that the director wanted to get the tough feeling. In one scene we wanted to get an emotional dance that reflected sadness so we chose to dance the dance in a more modern stile.
Within the theater, everything was new to me so I practiced a lot of how I would be on stage, I made my own character analysis for both my roles and wolf roles, and then went from there.
In the costume group I worked efficiently during the lessons and stayed in school by myself many afternoons to make things ready, if I hadn’t had the time to do so during the day. We in the costume group started making apparel to the actors, with the help of the director and actors' own character analyzes, we got ideas about what they would wear. I brought out clothes for Isabell and Annika, and I was careful to ask them what their thoughts and suggestions were for their characters. To all the dances we wrote down our suggestions considering the clothes and went over our budget and what we had at home that we could use. For example, a jazz dance we did would bring out the feeling of "dream" and we used dark-red dresses and plumes. I have participated with joy, spent a lot of my free time, come up with many ideas and suggestions (on dance steps and suggestions for clothes) and participated during all the rehearsal times where I gave everything I had. Behind scene I have spread joy and peppers and did not hold back on the compliments to everyone. On stage I have participated in 100% in my dances and developed a lot with the theater. My goal was to give everything I had and do as well as I could, and I really feel that I have achieved those goals.
The class has spent a lot of time, both school time and free time to get ready and work with everything. We have encouraged each other with compliments and strengthened ourselves as a group. At first, everyone was very stressed and conflicts started very easily. After some conversations with the class and help from the teachers, the mood of the class became better. I have written notes down and trained on the things the teachers told me about, so I have improved the whole of the performance.
To meet the audience was nothing unusual for my part since I have been dancing on stage for 5 years, but playing theater was something new and challenging to me that I had to practice a lot, for instance on how to keep me from laughter and to dare to show expressions. I became better at it as time went by. It was practice even during performances, because when you rehearse you don’t hear any laughs or see people go in and out of the theatre. So every performance was unique and it became a new challenge every time. What audience you played for had a very big impact on our acting and dancing too. Those audiences who laughed, applauded and listened gave us energy to do our very best, while those who didn’t clap or even listened didn’t make us want to perform as well at all.
The result of our work became a humorous, but also a serious, performance of two acts where you get to follow the girl Mowgli and meet in a society that gives the audience a mindset about how the society looks in the future according to this play. The performance highlights certain social issues such as racism, exclusion and class divisions. A performance that offered both theater and dance, a tighter class, proud teachers, impressed families and a amazing performance.
I am proud of what we have achived and proud of myself and my development!