Our arrival in Chincha couldn’t have been more opposite to what we had envisioned!
We arrived early Tuesday morning expecting to have to hustle our was to the Lima bus depot and jump on a rickety, hot, possibly smelly bus all the way to Chincha. However we received a message from Mayta (the wonderful woman who runs Social Creativa) saying her husband would be in Lima and could take us to Chincha. We get to the airport and try and connect to their wifi in order to be able to call Atilio and let him know we have arrived and ask him where we should go. However, the wifi wasn’t working so we went old school and called him on a pay phone (he even commented on us using a payphone and was surprised they even exist! Ha!). The short story is: we were able to take a taxi to his gorgeous apartment in a beautiful part of Lima, we then found ourselves in the most hipster café in Peru, honestly bar the glorious sunshine we could have been in east London! We then went for the best Peruvian food with Atilio and his amigos Hugo, followed by the strongest espresso I have ever had. We were then on the road to Chicha where we were greeted by Mayta and the group of volunteers working at Social Creativa.
After a much needed sleep for Sarah and I, we started our project. We knew going in to the project, our biggest challenge would be language. Our first session was with the Social Creativa group, some of who will be heavily involved, others not so much. We wanted to get everyone together, not only to introduce ourselves but also lay a foundation to a strong team and get to know each other as there were 2 volunteers who only arrived the day before us. We have a couple of incredible people who were able to translate so all went well! I thought it would be a great idea to do an exercise in communication testing how well we could use none verbal communication, translation and common words as we have 3 languages with at least one person only speaking their native language. It went down a treat and I now have faith that language is not going to be too much of a problem. It was also a great opportunity for us to see who did what in terms of creative talent, who wants to be involved and in what capacity.
In the evening we had our first class with the Chincha group. We started the class in a similar way to the Social Creativa session with some name ball games and the diversity circle, so that the group could get to know each other and get to know us. We went on to some improvisation games that went down really well. We weren’t sure how they would respond to them as I don’t think it is something they will have encountered much of in the past, but the really got in to it. It was great to see their creativity come out and they weren’t afraid to try. I am excited to see what they bring to the rehearsal process as we are going to use a task-based way of creating choreography on them rather than just giving them choreography.
After the class a few of the group stayed around either just to dance some more or waiting to be collected. A couple of the girls asked me to help them with some stretching then Alexis and Jean Paul wanted help with pirouettes! That’s what I love most about these projects, just being able to hang out and having a common language of dance … it’s a beautiful experience!