EncoreEast
Home from Home – Our experience with choreographer Alethia Anthonia

Home from Home – Our experience with choreographer Alethia Anthonia

Alethia Antonia is a British Caribbean UK based independent choreographer, performer, teacher and researcher. When EncoreEast were told that Alethia had agreed to be our choreographer for the first part of the Home from Home project, I think that we all felt rather awed. Alethia had worked with us previously on Focus, Russell Maliphant’s work back in 2021, and so we had a little inkling of what to expect! 

Yet working with them again was so different. Alethia appeared surer and stronger but also more open and vulnerable. Although they were immensely gentle and kind there was also a determination to draw out the absolute best in us. They listened and watched in such a sensitive way that we began to totally trust their belief in us even when every muscle hurt and our heads were in a spin!

Each workshop started with a challenging warm up in which Alethia worked on movements that might become key in the final choreography. There were many occasions when we struggled and wanted to give up on some of the more difficult choreographic challenges, but we were gently encouraged to be brave and believe that we would get there in the end. Part of the choreography was formed through our own improvisations based on our experience of endings, cycles and visibility. This gave us the opportunity to work in solos, duets and trios. 

There were times when Alethia would step aside to allow time to reflect and gather their thoughts. It was wonderful to see how Alethia seemed to visualise the work in these in-between moments and how this formed a coherent whole drawn from all the choreographic elements. It felt very special to be witness to this creative process.

By the final session Alethia was keen to encourage us to bring more of ourselves into the movement, to bring an element of joy and visceral pleasure into the dance and to engage more fully with each other. 

We must of course not forget to mention Chelsea! Alethia’s wonderfully supportive ‘sidekick’ who watched and encouraged and danced alongside both Alethia and us. 

The ‘Sharing’ of all four pieces of work that will form the bedrock of Home from Home, under the creative direction of Luca Silvestrini, took place on Tuesday June 20th. It was wonderful to see each company perform the work that they had been rehearsing over some weeks; to see all dancers performing with such commitment and to see the uniqueness of each work as well as the uncanny connections linking them all. What a great day! 

Join us on 29th June to experience Alethia’s workshop on Zoom: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/home-from-home-open-zoom-dance-workshops-tickets-605022888747

Home from Home is devised and produced by EncoreEast; supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, co-commissioned by EncoreEast, DanceEast, The Place and Norwich Theatre.

Book ticket

DanceEast, Ipswich – 14th October: https://www.danceeast.co.uk/performances/home-from-home-encoreeast-and-friends/

Norwich Playhouse – October 19th:

https://norwichtheatre.org/whats-on/

The Place, London – 21st October

https://theplace.org.uk/events/autumn-23-home-from-home