I wanted to continue this rehearsal looking at building the sense of struggle. The feeling of being confined as well as out of control. I felt like the sense of narrative within the work, building to climax that then dropping to a feeling of complete and utter loss of hope and strength, was missing.
I decided to add in more movement to extend the period before the moment of collapse. I feel this has really added something to the piece. I am still exploring the dynamics authentically and continue to be compassionate with the sense of self empathy.
One thing I did notice when I was watching the video back from the last rehearsal is a specific motif. It was not intentionally put in but appeared in the movement. The motif depicts the trying to fit body parts though spaces created. Analysing this I can see that is how I was feeling in the moment. An authentic expression of being made to fit in to spaces that weren’t right and having to mould myself to fit and not being able to get out.
Ponty talks about the reaction and understanding of gestures.
“The gesture does not make me think of anger, it is anger itself” [Ponty M. p214]
He is saying that a gesture that shows, in this case, anger does not make him think it makes him feel, he feels it with a connection through his body, he understands the movement as emotion itself. This is what I want for my piece in general but is specifically linked to this motif I have been describing. I don’t want the audience to think ‘oh, she is trying to fit through awkward spaces that don’t fit’, I want them to feel that. I want them to connect on a bodily level to understand how it felt. This is a hard thing to try and get right and also hard to know if and when I elicit that reaction. I think this will be a question I pose when asking for feedback on the piece.
For now I want to continue to develop this idea and movement, put more of it in the work and make it as awkward as possible. Press references Ellen Dissanayake when discussing aesthetic in her article Self Psychology and the Modern Dance Choreographer (2009) she looks at how mothers act with young babies saying they exaggerate movements and facial expressions. She goes on to talk about how through this the baby is able to respond and understand as it has not developmentally learnt to recognise small nuances of human behaviour but does understand this exaggerated form. Linking this to art and dance Press states
“Art brings forth what is primal to our existence and our intersubjective relations from birth onwards” [Press, C M, page 221]
Therefore, through more exaggerated movement aesthetic there is the potential to elicit more of a response from an audience or viewer.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (2002). Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge Classics.
Press, C. M. (2009). Self psychology and the modern dance choreographer. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1159(1), 218-228. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04354.x