If you have not caught up with the new BBC drama ‘Trigonometry’, you have been missing out!
Set in crowded and expensive London, Trigonometry revolves around a couple, Keiran and Gemma who take in a new lodger Ray to help make ends meet. Ray, a former Olympic synchronised swimmer, entwines herself into the couple’s lives, and they realise they have connected in ways more heavily than landlord and lodger.
Directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari and written by Effie Woods and Duncan MacMillan, Aquabatix became involved due to the synchronised swimming background story of Ray. Aquabatix provided the consultancy for the writers and director, regarding the dynamics of a club synchronised swimming team and team mates. This included how a competition would run and the scoring, how a synchronised swimming athlete would generally be in life regarding occasionally stretching in public for example, or how they would be moving in a swimming pool when chatting to a friend as well as the general terminology. Alongside this, Aquabatix also advised on how the character Ray would coach a beginners group of older people synchronised swimming and be when taking part in an underwater photo shoot.
Aquabatix also provided the coaching of the basics for the actress Ariana Labed who plays Ray, and actress Isabella Laughland who takes on the role of Ray’s team mate and confidente, Moi. The actresses both needed to be able to do the arm sequences, and the transitions into the underwater sections as well as close up shots of their faces underwater when they were upside down. Therefore, both women had to learn basics such as sculling, eggbeater, how to hold themselves upside down, pike downs, layouts as well as how to set up an acrobatic throw lift, with the character Ray being the flyer on top. Actress Ariana had to really look the part as her character Ray, is a former Olympic competitor in the sport. Body doubles were used for the more complicated synchro moves. Director Katie Fried took both actresses through their paces with learning synchronised swimming over the course of two months, whilst they continued to film other scenes for the show.
When it came to the synchronised swimming team shots, a group of eight Aquabatix performers, all former Great Britain synchronised swimmers themselves, were used. Six to form the team around the two characters Ray and Moi, and two as the actresses body doubles. A routine section was specifically choreographed for the series, with gladiators being the main theme, and the swimsuits and make up designed by the art and wardrobe department for the series. Filming the competition took place at Crystal Palace Sports Centre in South London.
The walk on in a competitive synchro style and deck all had to be choreographed to fit the brief for what the director needed from the shots. Supporting artists were used as other synchronised swimmers who were finishing their routines, and getting scores during the competition scene, and Aquabatix had to teach and choreograph their movements in and around poolside.
Ariane said of her learning and training to be a synchronised swimmer experience; ” It was much harder than you’d think because it’s not just like swimming, it’s so technical!! It’s absolutely crazy what they do with their bodies underwater. It’s very interesting sport and I’m so impressed by them. I wish I could do more.”
The Guardian referred to Trigonometry as “a beguiling take on young love” whilst the Telegraph called it ” a lovely study of relationships”. You can catch Trigonometry on BBC Iplayer now, or on Sunday nights at 10pm on BBC2. To involve aquataic professionals Aquabatix in your next filming production, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org