Graduation: Working with Joss Arnott by Charlotte Arnold

Working with Joss Arnott has not been easy. Firstly, because every morning I have to catapult myself out of bed, because my hamstrings feel like iron rods. Secondly, because all I can think about is counts every single minute of the day. I have 6’s and 8’s and 3’s coming out of my ears and rattling around in my skull. But finally and probably most importantly it’s been difficult because I feel super emotional about this being the last time I will dance with this lovely group of people, who have been constantly around me for the last three years. We have sweated together, bled together and cried together and I mean all of these literally- there are no boundaries within our year group- we’ve seen it all.

Apart from these three things, this rehearsal period has been a dream. Everyday after I’ve succeeded in catapulting myself out of bed, and coaxing my hamstrings into moving I enter the studio feeling energised and motivated. Whilst I initially found Joss’ physical style challenging, upon entering the fourth week with the piece finished and in the process of intense cleaning, the moves that I had found hard in the beginning are now ingrained into my body patterning and it seems entirely natural to move in Joss’ unique style. I relish the opportunity to explore a movement style that is both visually and emotionally rewarding- enabling us to tap into the technique that we have spent countless hours over the past three years honing and developing. It is the piece that prior to starting my degree, I envisioned myself performing in my final year graduation show.

Add to this, the fact that Joss is an absolute gem to work with has only made this experience even more positive. So so organised, kind, motivated and lighthearted, Joss has in my opinion only made our group more productive and hardworking. On the second day of the process we started actually structuring the piece, by the end of the first week it was structured, by the second week it was finished. Third week we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, and last week we did the same. This week, we finally get to perform it.

Although we will try to hide it, in the wings we are gasping for breath and wiping sweat from our foreheads, before running back onto stage for the next section. And despite the fact that by the end I am on the verge of dying, it’s a piece that I am so so excited to share with everyone. So, expect visceral and physical choreography, skin tight costumes and a powerful lighting design, and make sure you’re there to watch!

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