Overture – Sharing of Oprimido Research

Over the weekend I the opportunity to share and develop my research in to bodily memory and creating movement from bodily memory. I had 20 minutes as part of a practice sharing with my Overture cohort as part of our final weekend on the programme.

I wanted to share how I came to create my own work and explore how it would work when I facilitated this process on others. I was also interested in seeing how the movement translated and could be seen by an audience.

I started by explaining what was going to happen, to create a safe space for the participants. I advised them to be careful on the memory they chose as I didn’t want them to go to a place that was too dark as we had such a short time together. I took the group through a short meditation/visualisation, asking them to see a memory in their mind. It could be a short snapshot or a memory over and extended period of time. I then asked them to take the memory in to the body, how did they feel, what did they experience. I slowly got the group to amplify that movement they felt, step by step, until they were stood and the movement was the biggest they could possibly make it. Drawing this to a close and having a moment of stillness to experience how the body felt after amplifying that memory. I wanted the participants to then set some movement that came out of the improvisation and then share with each other.

I felt it was really important to safeguard the group. To make sure each and every participant felt safe and empowered to chose a memory they wanted to explore with the knowledge of what was to come and with the time limit. This meant a lot of the memories chosen were not as deep set. This had both positive outcomes and outcomes that I would have liked to explore differently. One participant commented after, that the memory she chose became clearer and brought it back to the front of her memory, which she liked as her memory was a positive one. I would have liked the opportunity to explore different memories that were perhaps more difficult as I am also interested in how the use of amplifying this bodily memory can help to process or change the relationship to this memory.

The participants were able to experience what I wanted them to, with amplifying the movement and being able to set a short phrase linked to this. It was also insightful, when sharing, how clear a lot of the movement was. The group watching were able to pick out the essence of the memory the movement was linked to. I am still in the thought process about what it is I am exploring, whether it is about this, setting movement and creating choreography from bodily memory or whether it is about trauma and how this amplification of movement can help change the relationship to the movement. Both of these were in essence what I explored myself with the solo so now it is about the way in which I want to share this with others.

Other comments that came up during the short session what about the use of the word amplify. The participants thought that the repetitive use of this workd in particular helped them to connect with the movement and understand what it was that I was looking for. They also liked the use of silence. This was something I made a conscious decision about. I chose to run the whole sessions with no music in the background. I was aware with the nature of what I was asking any music I chose would not work for everyone as I was leaving it so open with the type of memory I was asking them to explore. Whilst running the session though I did feel uncomfortable myself and felt I needed to fill the silence with my voice, but I was able to control this and sit in the silence in order for the participants to be focused on their own work. This is definitely a decision I want to use again in further workshops as it worked really well for the participants and I feel the more I work this way the more comfortable I will feel.

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