Friday, 29 January 2010

Giovanni's class: yoga, movement and the world

On Thursday 28th, at last I managed to go to a class at ID by Giovanni Felicioni, whose classes I am always interested in but don't make it often for some reason. Here is a description of his class:

Giovanni Felicioni
Mon 25th – Thurs 28th January
Finding The Ground Finding The Sky | This Body -- No Body
In these morning classes, which help us orient for the day, we will take the Tonic Function Theory of Hubert Godard as the main theme of our embodiment explorations on ourselves alone and on ourselves with others.
We will look at how context and perception are the basic continuum in which human movement takes place in space and time.
How this gives rise to our resource and our missing gestures and all the before before activity that goes on to finally blossom as movement in our changing world.
The experiential nature of the class will hopefully satisfy our need to move and our need to know. The small pools, puddles and rivulets will hopefully satisfy our need to know and our need to move. Yoga

Well, I actually did not read this carefully before I went and because I went only once I have no idea what the Tonic Function Theory is. For me, it felt like what we looked in the class was something really broken down from yoga. I recognise this rotation of the shoulder or that extension of the leg from this and that yoga asana (position) but what we did was just the initiation of asana and we repeat slowly to understand with the bones and deep tissues, which leads me to the state of a half sleep, like I used to feel in a Pilates session. A half sleep must be a good state to work on the body deeply.

Yoga tends to be alone practice even in a class. What I liked in Giovanni's class was that we did a kind of duet work. How do I tune in or not tune in to my partner. Then another good thing here was that we kept swapping a partner so that it was more like encountering a person and have a little conversation, rather than sitting down with a cup of coffee and talk for hours. I like this not-so-deep communication. This is more like the world. I remember what Deborah Hay said in her workshop; "here and gone. here and gone." about a moment in time that we never be able to catch and hold.

From a simple movement we tried in the class, I realised a clear fact that I tend to forget. As Giovanni pointed I tend to initiate a movement from my core, which is the essence of Pilates. But in fact, that is not only kind of movement. There is a movement that is initiated by a push with the feet or a swing of the arm. I do know these from dance but do they exist in Pilates? I guess not. Then suddenly I see this small box of Pilates as movement. Movement has much more varieties and there is no right or wrong in the end (unless you hurt yourself). The complex brings the expression and the identity of the person.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Ivana Müller, what is real?

Today I watched this show at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells.

Ivana Müller
Playing Ensemble Again and Again (2008)

For 70 minutes, all is about only bows at the end of the show. Six performers in line move slowly but precisely. They repeat walking downstage, bowing, walking back upstage then going out in the wings. Slow-motion with the facial expression consists of a sequence of moments that have concentrated expressiveness like still images. My eyes and brain keep working busy to pick up their psychology behind the roles as performers they are playing, or their psychology behind themselves who were tortured by the slow-motion. What is real?

They utter some sentences that may describe real themselves or could be made-ups.
"three of us are homosexual, two of us are heterosexual and one is not sure" can be true, but
"we are between 35-60 years old" is clearly a lie. Then,
"we went to Big Ben at 11am to listen" we don't know if it's true or not.

Who can tell what is real.
And does it matter?

UKIYO: the Artangel Podcast

Talking about sound and sound theatre, I have no much experience and knowledge in this area but I found this podcast by Artangel interesting. Very well edited. Also they talk about some idea that sound can take your imagination beyond the actual physical space where you are now. Sound can take you to another country or time. In this sense, there is a common idea between sound and what Maki Ueda explores with her smell. And this has something to do with virtual space and physical space...

Saturday, 23 January 2010


Stretch left hip flexors
Stretch and strengthen right gluts med/ min
Feet massage and strengthening
Stretch and strengthen quadratus lumiborum






ー 身体を部位ごとに分けてみて足りない筋肉を強化する
ー 身体全体を通しての連鎖運動をスムーズにし、無理な力の入らない動き方を学ぶ







Friday, 22 January 2010

Rosemary's class: Deep, honest, simple

Rosemary Butcher is one of the greatest choreographer in UK, and I would always go and see her works.

I was fortunate to have her as my choreography teacher when I was studying at Laban, then I did her workshop at Independent Dance in winter 2008. First two weeks in January, she led professional morning classes at ID. This is quite unusual because she normally does not 'teach' a dance technique class like other teacher would do. She 'leads' a class where each participant explores their own identity in movement. Her class is very much based on her idea of dance, which is further beyond what most people would think. But it is like searching for the golden rule for human, not only dance. The truth is applicable to many other things and communicative to many other people.

The classes were very satisfying experience for me to explore movement, the body and the mind in the improvisation (if I may call it) clearly led by Rosemary's vision. It was challenging as usual to understand or interpret her abstract directions and suggestions. I like the state of mind I reach through the process, somewhere very deep, honest and simple.

How Rosemary leads and where I reach seem to be quite mystery to me and I would love to know more about it.

After the experience, I try to break down the journey in the classes so that the idea may be crystallised.

1) Starting point
We start from any comfortable positions, often lying on the floor. Rosemary gives some simple focuses on the body eg.) shoulder joints and hip joints, all the surface on the body, which part on the floor and which not, vertical line and horizontal line etc.

I would just do whatever the body wants to do following the instruction. The movement gradually gets more dynamic, and I start to see some kind of pattern of movement or the idea behind of some movement.

2) Defining vocabulary
Then I can consciously be aware of my vocabulary in this session. I will keep this in my mind and will come back to the vocabulary when I feel lost. On the other hand, the door is half open for anything new to come in. The vocabulary map keeps slightly changing according to the new comers.

3) Change of energy
This is the most challenging part. Rosemary suggests to change the focuses of what we are experimenting in very abstract way. The interpretation of her words is up to the individual, and I always a bit of struggle in myself asking 'is this what she is asking for?'. I can do only what I have understood. It is quite easy to give up here and stop moving. But the most important things would be not to loose trust in myself. After the struggle, the cloud gets clearer in myself and start seeing different games and qualities emerging. If lucky, I can have some imagination and some kind of narratives, which would probably make very strong performance if you see from the audience point of view.

4) Letting outside come in
Up till here, the journey is pretty much personal. There are no connection to other people around. After working personally for a while, there is a point where I can keep the personal connection inside me without caring too much and can open my eyes to people and space around me. This gives me other possibilities of movement that does not belong to my vocabulary map, and it will trigger the map to be broaden whether the movement stays in the map or not. I have a danger to loose my own internal journey and go with the new stimuli from outside so I will remember to anchor myself down.

5) Abandon the memory, and start again
This is optional. Rosemary once told us to stop and leave the memory of the journey behind. Start from the blank campus. But can it be completely blank? What is remained?

6) Reflection
At the end, just remembering and digesting the experience. We can do whatever- move, write, watch... I try to retrace the journey.










Happy 2010

It is already 22nd of January and there are so many things that I thought about writing here but I did not.

I have realised that dancing and writing are the key to have happy days for me.

So I will dance and write this year.