A full day today that started with a walking meditation in the Arboretum of Connecticut College. Being in a community with others in this way is quite transformative - so nurturing and inspiring. We are essentially strangers to each other but we are aiding each other’s experience and adding to it. It’s just lovely… and so good for the creative self… Experiences like these remind me how much I miss Community of this type.
We worked with Sol and Craig today, who are our track leaders - Fundamentals. Working with presence, the state of ease, breath, form, and the whole. Of course, everything starts from the body and bringing awareness to it and different parts of it. Lots of “I have a body“ phrases were said in the room today, to encourage that type fo awareness. And not only whispering it - which, admittedly, is what I was mostly doing - but also to say it to someone or to the space.
With Sol, we worked on stepping INTO the state of presence, from which we approach the work. The place where our minds and bodies meet through breath. Head is up to the ceiling, a fixed point in front for the gaze, awareness is at 360 degrees around us, behind us and to the sides, breathing with arms out and up. This is the place where ti begins.
It feels really lovely to go through these fundamentals. they are Michael Chekhov’s fundamentals, but of ocurse, they are fundamentals for the type of dynamic physical theatre I envision. It was definitely part of my training at Dell’arte, but perhaps said in other words. This is a great opportunity to remember these basics again - it is also validating and re-affirming older discoveries, setting the way for new ones, as well.
Craig led us into Centres in the afternoon - head centre, pelvis, and heart. Bringing and keeping awareness in certain parts of body is exhausting, but it means we were doing it right - uniting body and mind with breath and imagination. Working with some text through these centres is illuminating.
We worked a lot with tossing balls to each other day. A simple, but profound task which says a lot about the people playing - how you toss i.e. how you offer something/make a proposal, how you catch i.e. how you receive something and get excited. We did this all, always, with a sense of ease. Loosey goosey.
I had a beautiful moment with Derek, in the class today. We partnered up to work on tossing the ball to each other from the heart centre and receiving in the heart centre too. The game evolved from tossing balls, to tossing imaginary balls, to gestures, to text and gestures. While we stayed connected, Derek and I were so utterly tethered to each other. His receiving of the ball I threw or the text I offered encouraged me to be even more open, and my heart grew open with every dialogue we had. It was astounding and the most open I felt in a studio with someone in a long time.
p.s. we sang the Carlo Rossi song tonight in our evening hang out and it filled my heart with such joy. Carlo Rossi is one of the songs we sang at Dell’Arte, an anthem or ode to beautiful chaos and impulse, and some people here knew it through connections to Dell’Arte. I hadn’t sung that song in years and it was a lovely gift.