BLOG ST AND SP

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Time marker – Four Days in 14.01.2015
by Anne-Gaelle Thiriot

Four Days into our 2015 Shared Training and Shared Practice and each one of us: Laura, myself, Tania and Fernanda have now all had a go or more at facilitating it. As we have defined these two components as the way into our physicality, and the way we deepen or use our physicality, I am happy that already many discoveries and thoughts have emerged that started from a physical place. Here are a few of them.

Training wise, we follow a format which content is not prescribed. I am surprised at how different is the kind of journey and kind of movements that I go through everyday to reach a state of satisfaction: being sweaty and feel trained. Sweaty but not too sweaty… I currently enjoy finding ways of softening and relaxing myself to access different layers of my movement content and a deeper care for my body. I have mini-revelations everyday: ‘the state of quiet and calmness can be to have my mind quiet or my body quiet or both’ or ‘When I can walk straight with the heels of my hands in my eye sockets I will have reached technical perfection’. It is funny the difference between the experience, the language and the experience of language. When I realise something through doing a task, there is always a sense of deja vu in the thinking and wording of it. Putting words into it is nothing like the experience but for some reason it helps reaffirming my experience. Problem is that often language doesn’t quite represent the essence of my dance experience so I get frustrated because the remaining traces of it feel unsatisfying. I just read a book (Thinking: Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman) that among many things talks about the difference between experience and memory. I guess I try to articulate something of that kind: my dance experience, when put into words becomes a dance memory. And a great experience can create a dull memory and vice e versa. So I strive to get and give great experiences but what if there will never be great tangible memories of it? Does it matter? It links to what we leave behind when we principally deal with being in the moment. “Maybe it is about finding the words that can recreate a sense of that experience” suggests Laura. ‘Language […], as movement, reflects your movement of spirit, thought, playfulness’ writes Tania.

Questions that arise during my training are linked to two elements: how do I solve problems? (e.g. varying my dancing, keeping flow, going from vertical to horizontal using the most of my bones and minimum of energy, etc.) what are the patterns that I or anyone can practice to reach a specific aim (e.g. create connectivity, or finding axis or efficient alignment). Yes anyone. Is it possible?

It is interesting that the Shared Training and Practice (STP) is addressing questions around what one finds valuable vs what one should find valuable, and how our original backgrounds, what led us here, influence these. In what we perceive is in a good or bad way.

Something very helpful to establish these values is Tania’s proposal of focusing on the notion of pleasure as a filter for our daily practice: Pleasure of feeling in the body, pleasure created by executing a movement, pleasure of realising or keeping a form, pleasure of yarning, pleasure of relaxing into weight and being efficient, pleasure of being responsive and relaxed in one’s mind, pleasure of trusting, pleasure of making a sound of pleasure, pleasure of rhythm, pleasure of sounding, pleasure of not sounding, pleasure of performing, pleasure of playing with expectations (of one self or of a watcher), pleasure of dealing with what is there, pleasure of finding images in the moment and move through them, pleasure of being connected, pleasure of having different intentions, pleasure of integrating, pleasure of perceiving, pleasure of thinking, pleasure of communicating, pleasure of finding that something makes sense, pleasure of realising that something makes no sense at all but is still pleasurable, pleasure of really meaning it, pleasure of representing, pleasure of relating or not to the viewers, pleasure of being, being close, being far, comfortable, finding touch tones, story-telling, pleasure of watching pleasure and freeing acts, etc…..

We are starting to develop a common language: we create “palettes” to represent our conversations, we are making a body of work or a body of wisdom, we talk about what happens when we try to communicate something. And we still use the word performance.

Laura said today that ‘the content is all in the movement’. I liked that because it brings us to stop thinking narrative and meaning in what we do in a linear way. Instead it brings us to construct meaning through a multi-layered and multi-experiential labyrinth; is it our nervous system as Tania mentioned that links everything together then? Or our DNA?

For the first time I have facilitated a Talk and Walk task and I really enjoyed it. For this purpose I used the format described in Dance Exchange:

http://www.danceexchange.org/toolbox/tooldb7c.html?Line=10

In everything we do, there is a certain amount of planning/ strategy and a certain amount of instinctive/in the moment thinking and acting. Walk and Talk proposes to become conscious of how we work and think through taking a dynamic/active approach. Therefore making no plan and finding on the way what we are working with, or making short term/realistic strategies. Very practical to devise. Need to use it again to see if it fulfils more purposes.

With Fernanda we thought and talked about our future today. What a scary exciting intangible but soon real prospect. It is beautiful to see that this links us to having a vision, as well as entering a process of applying it. We then keep talking in twos but this time space becomes much more important. Therefore body. Therefore form. Language. Moving. Making movement. Thinking. Listening, Reflecting. Relating. Communicating. As we get a chance to observe another conversation, I am fascinated at how varied and unique are our approaches and ways to integrate moving, reflecting, responding, using language, acting, justifying, arguing, dialoguing. I wonder how it would be possible to show this richness in a performance. Or maybe this is not the point. This is our practice. Till next time. Anne-Gaelle

 

Creating Normality , a new idea on how to see my practice. 15.01.2015
by Laura Doehler

Normality is a term I would have defiantly pushed away a couple of years back because my immediate association was boredom through repetition, also a lack of awareness because of repetition. However with ST and SP repetition produces awareness and creates a time and space window with a view that … is wonderfully rich, full of secrets waiting to be revealed and tickled, altogether a view that is wide and far and everyday different.

Both formats, separately and together, produce frames that allow yourself to emerge as you are through movement by posing questions such as ‘What are your preferences, your intentions, why – and how do you work it out? Because of others being present a perception of yourself through others eyes and thoughts is happening as well as your own perception of them creating a comparison without intend to judge. It is a long journey and won’t happen on an ad hoc basis – infinite if that is what you want.
Being your moving self – once you can see it repeatedly, the constants and the changes, the personal time of change, the personal space of yourself in relation to other, your pleasures and curiosities – then you can see that being yourself can become arriving, less reaching and somehow normal. Arriving is like standing still – not motionless but a way of perceiving a place as a journey walked and inhabited without stress and desperation or alienation in wanting to be other- arriving is going home, where all is familiar, greeting you, becoming part of you because it belongs there – or rather it is already part of you and it is your consciousness that greets and says, now I know. And to be your moving self, again and again, to me, is like I can see normality, my own normality and along with it my movement language.
And it is the knowing well, inside out, from back to front, that is never complete that makes it exciting and at the moment I hope that this is enough.

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