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Alvira - Echo Interview

In a series of interviews, we are chatting to artists involved with the 2024 Wandsworth Fringe. The Fringe Festival runs from 7th until 23rd June. 

In this interview, we chat with Alvira about Echo.

Where did your arts career begin?
I trained initially at The Royal Ballet School in Richmond. I then attended Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. After graduating from Tring back in 2007 I worked as a dancer in both the commercial and fashion worlds for brands and artists including Reebok, Burberry, Marks & Spencer’s, Victoria Beckham Denim, Bonobo and Martin Solveig, before training as an actress at Drama Centre London. I performed with and composed music for theatre company The Shakespeare Edit and I am now devoted to creating my own work under the alter ego ALVIRA.

What can you tell me about your show?
Echo is a cinematic gig theatre piece exploring the sounds, sentiments and movements of the echo through music, poetry, and dance. It explores the journey of a young woman as she grows through experiences which vibrate and echo through her life - a journey of discovery.
Where did the idea for the show come from?
ALVIRA is the alter ego of performer Portia van de Braam. The concept began when Portia played the character Ariel from Shakespeare's The Tempest whilst training at Drama Centre London. Over the past 6 years since graduating from drama school the idea has developed into a gig theatre act. Her sound hangs somewhere between folk, cinematic, sacred choral and pop music. Through spoken word, dance and music ALVIRA incorporates all the passions and skills of Portia inspired by and drawing from the literary work of her late father Dorian van Braam. Her father never managed to achieve commercial success in his lifetime and since his passing, the act now serves as an homage and extension to his legacy.
How do you prepare for a performance?
I do a comprehensive vocal warm up; a cardio workout (run/bike/gym) pilates, and or a ballet/dance class; I also run the show daily (or every two days depending on work commitments) from start to finish.
What is the message of your show?
It explores the journey of a young woman as she grows through experiences which vibrate and echo through her life - a journey of discovery. It is personal, but relatable to any human. I want it to be a period of escapism and inspiration for the audience members. I use words from my late father’s poetry - and my work acts as an extension of his legacy.
If you were a biscuit, what would you be and why?
Pink wafer - colourful, fresh and little bit traditional…
Can you describe the show in three words?
Cinematic - Philosophical - Uplifting
When can people see the show and follow the journey beyond?
Sunday June 23rd at 7pm - Holy Trinity Church in Roehampton. Then again at Shaftesbury Fringe Dorset July 26th/27th.

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