BODY AS MATERIAL #2

We began the day with a body scan. As we all lay on the ground with our eyes closed, I listened to the body scan, allowing myself to feel more connected to myself and each individual part of me.

We then played a few games to feel more comfortable with our space and to wake us up.

The first body exercise was a mannequin game. In pairs, we moved each others body parts as if they were a mannequin or doll. While creating shapes and organising the body how we wanted, I was thinking of how every body is unique in its own way, and how some restrict in certain ways depending on the person..

Next we individually wrote down an ‘impossible task’ on a piece of paper. Collected and shuffled, we picked out from a hat to receive anothers idea. The aim was to act out this ‘impossible task’ in the best way we could solely using our body. After experimenting with a few ideas and getting used to repeating these actions in a continuous loop, we performed our task in a group setting. Those who were not performing had the power to stop us at any point, and to restart us too. We had to freeze in whatever position we were stopped in, making me aware of how my performance may look in slow motion, or if it were to be photographed.

Next we sat for 5 minutes continuously writing without preplanning. I mostly wrote of what I was thinking at that time, what had been playing on my mind, and my senses. We then picked out 20 words, rewrote them, and ripped them in to individual pieces of paper. 7 words were picked at random from this pile, and thus created the influence for our next performance.

We were told ahead of the workshop to bring along an important piece of text. I chose a quote from my favourite film “You are good and gentle, you’re the most kind. I love you Henry. Don’t let them take me, Please. No.” I broke this quote down and focused on the specific words used. I wondered how I could represent ‘kind’ and ‘gentle’ through actions, and how to act out the pain felt by the characters in this scene. I also felt it helped to think of each words connotations and work from there as it gave me broader movements to use.

Performing for the first time alone was a very daunting experience for me, but I knew I had to just go for it. Despite feeling myself blushing, I persevered and was proud of myself once I was done.

The final performance was to be linked to an important object we brought along. I brought a necklace given to me by a friend on my 19th birthday. I had to create a whole performance piece based around a blue stone necklace. I wrote down connotations of the jewellery and the story behind it – mostly resolving around relationships and recovery.

I found my confidence growing hugely after each performance, and by the end I felt somewhat disconnected from myself and the audience – in the sense that I was there to perform and didn’t need to think about how I had a group of people watching me. This feeling slowly improved with each performance throughout the day.

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