Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm dizzy and my feet hurt...

We are more than half way through our Ensemble Project week with the sensational Ewan Downie of Company of Wolves. We have been exploring the awareness and how to move our body which sounds simple, but is about the farthest thing from. To truly let your body do what it wants and not hinder yourself, while also breathing (again, sounds simple), accessing, connecting or letting go is jarringly difficult. It is strangely foreign. I think it's how you would feel/react if you were a conscious animal that is not really self aware or being a baby again with the knowledge of your "adult" self. It's weird and We've also some really fun and oddly precarious idea of status and how to manipulate it both for yourself and others.

Depending on the person, it can be really easy to either one up or lower your status for different reasons. You can even lower your status to actually one up someone which then actually puts you at a higher status. The most interesting exercise was to try and match the status of a partner and maintain. It's amazing how tiny little movements, gestures or inflections of the voice either raised or lowered your status in the room with you hardly knowing it. This work has certainly made me more self conscious of my behavior in the real world. Some things I was taken aback to think I actually do that! Likewise, there were ways I was proud of how I could manipulate status. This was accentuated by behavior lists that suggested a certain type of person. 

Yesterday we looked at focus and where the eyes go and physically and mentally. You can have a close, medium, and distant focus. Then there is soft focus and "coning" which is similar to zoning out, but like the rest of our explorations, most about letting the body do what it wants. So you let your eyes just looking everywhere without actually focusing. Then we deep-eyed each other. Like a baby, you sort of close range cone into someone's eyes essentially drawing them in. It's kinda trippy. We then deep-eyed in the form of a teenage dance party. After we created lists of insults and had some boring improvs that were then layered with our lists. 

On top of it all, we are working on Wole Soyinka's adaption of The Bacchae by Euripides. What a ridiculous productions. So epic. Those greeks were really demented and genius. We've done some interesting exercises including a lot of stomping and running (my feet hurt), found some cool new ways to read the text. 

Everything is very free and I feel very comfortable working. However, after having several weeks of small groups, being thrown back into the whole 23 of us, which I thought would be fantastic, has actually left me a bit distant and I find myself feeling slightly isolated and internal. Maybe thats a good thing. Maybe I ate something weird. Maybe it's the nature of the work. Maybe it's just me. I don't know. Perhaps things will come to light these last two days.  

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