Training Squad in Canberra

Recently I asked the 11-year old daughter of a family friend what sports she was playing. She said ballet and basketball. This was a great answer. For her, ballet and basketball were physical activities that demanded a high level of physical skill, a team ethos and a set of rules and codes that governed the playing. In her mind there was no separation between the arts and sport. This is the essence of the Training Squad project.

Having spent my teenage years aspiring to play football at an elite level, I was very conscious that part of its attraction was that people were watching you trying to achieve a common goal with your teammates. This is also an essential part of live performance: an audience watches you as you try to communicate with each other and with them the rules of the play. The kinds of people that are interested in sport, often team sport, are also similar to those in personality that like to be part of an arts ensemble. You want to see how good you are as an individual, how you can work with others as part of a group and you want to share the excitement of success (and the disappointment of failure). So if you like playing sport you are just as likely to enjoy performing live.

As with sport, it’s a case of ability: are you good enough to make the team? For sportspeople who have a curiosity about live performance, Training Squad is the perfect project because you will already have a skills base that is essential to the language and the success of the performance.

Another benefit of participating in Training Squad is visibility. Sportspeople like performers are always trying to increase their visibility to attract funding and sponsorship. Training Squad offers a unique opportunity to be highly visible on the AIS Open Day which aims to attract a large crowd of sports professionals, afficionadoes and general public. Training Squad is a significant project of Centenary of Canberra and not yet it’s difficult (NYID), one of Australia’s leading arts companies. Through AIS, CofC and NYID, the project will have a strong public profile and an industry profile through the support of agencies such as ACTSport.

So, if you made the Squad, what would you find yourself doing? Firstly you would be required to learn some basic set plays which would involve moving and speaking at the same time. Secondly, you would be asked to draw from your own experience as a sportsplayer in terms of skills, rules, codes and behaviours. These would be fashioned into new choreographic and speaking sequences. Because of the nature of the project, the emphasis is on movement and most speaking is performed as a group in the form of chants and slogans. Generally participants find the process as being fun and physically challenging, not unlike most positive sports experiences.

For these reasons, you should try out for the Squad on Friday November 30th (1:30pm-4:30pm) and Saturday December 1st (10am-4pm) at the AIS. There are 9 places available.

We look forward to seeing you there.

David Pledger
Artistic Director

Adelina Larsson
Training Squad Local Coach
0402 131 803