Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's never too late to change your childhood...

Onward from colour and deeper into the wide open world of The Abstract... where anything can happen. My favourite place. Mmm. This is connected in some way to the fact that theatre - all art - is somehow much much bigger than you. The story itself has it's own vibration in the space which is far greater than if it were simply your story, that you were improvising, you... the person in rehearsal room wondering what the hell to do next. And then if you have really connected with this sense of 'play' the story starts to write itself. Abstraction is a key into this... the driving force of a character. So yes... from colour and into music rhythm rhyme and words...

The onomatopoeic quality of words in different languages - that on the surface of it you don't understand - is astounding. There is a part of you that does actually understand. We moved poetry by Finish, Danish, Slovene and German poets... through movement provoked by the poems we touched the sentiment of the words, we then had to say what we thought the poem was about... with astonishing results.

With Norman Taylor movement master... amazing man... we had another 4 day intensive workshop... we started off with the mime movement of the weight lifter and it was all rather straight forward. Mime technique 101. So you too can pretend to be like those scary athletes that just about pick up the weight of their houses and rise it above their heads... like those women who look, well, a bit weird really. Of course it was not this simple. Norman divided the sequence into three parts... a beginning middle and end...

We then had to think of a moment in our lives, an event, that had this structure. And then, of course, we had to move it. Only we knew what we were doing - there was no dialogue - wonderfully bizarre. Modern dance gone a bit wrong. In pairs we then performed for our partners who wrote the poem of our abstract movements... totally off the wall.

The wonderful Freya did her movement piece for me and the poetry simply pored out... in what Norman best described as rhythmical and lyrical... the verse of a song... in a heart-wrenching melodrama! I moved for Freya and she put pen to paper in what came out as sparse surrealist poetic genius! I'd publish them here... but I won't. Even though they were brilliant... with far reaching emotional depth!

That weekend we went to Pisa to see the Miro exhibition and passed this wall... by a lesser artist perhaps... or perhaps not... but none the less...

"It's never too late to change your childhood." I liked that.

From poetry and text to a nose dive into music. Where once again Norman started off with mime sequence of climbing up and jumping off a wall and then putting that into the very strict 59 step chase sequence. But soon enough that turned into the most fantastic piece of choreography set to music... with different tempo's, off beats, slow motion, double time, reverse action, repetition... the studio was instantly turned into a unusual dance hall with a host of newly inaugurated movers improvising the 59 steps together. One moment we were laughing and the next moved to tears. The theatrical space is indeed much bigger... even in a heated studio, smelly with sweat of hard work and exposed with bright light. My favourite was Dire Straits... 'we've got to move these refrigerators, we've got to move these coloured TV's...' It reminded me of my childhood. Long trips across South Africa from Botswana to Cape Town. The seaside. Even though this was a funny sequence I got a little lump in my throat.

Pisa was wonderful... we started the day with the amazing Miro Exhibition and then we were shown around by Julia who lives in Pisa... and she told us fascinating things... like this one. The Joan Miro exhibition is in Palazzo Blu. The fact that it is blue is very important as no other building in the whole of Pisa is anything but orange - terracotta - yellow - that's it really. So yes this building was painted blue by a very important man who temporarily changed the rules so that he could impress his mistress... what a romantic guy. You have to admire the Italians.

Another man, a very long time ago, was locked up in this building... one of the small windows at the top. A wealthy man. Tragically he was locked up with his kids. Not sure why. And the man in due course ate his kids. Lovely.

Then she took us to this divine authentic little restaurant where we ate traditional - vegetarian! - delicacies. And touched up our lipstick.

Compulsory cheese when visiting Pisa.

Freya - being Freya x

Exciting work. Exhilarating day out.

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