Tuesday, June 28, 2011


 Characterization must begin at home, in the body. Some of us are not at home in our bodies. We must discover what that means. Therefore the main emphasis of my work is physical discovery."
    ~Carlo Mazzone-Clementi, founder

WOO WOO DAY TWO! I woke up this morning unable to move most of my body. I was sore literally EVERYWHERE. It felt really good, though. It reminds me that I am alive and I am working.

We started our day with Ronlin, in what is called the Watershed room. We did exercises on a sprung floor, which was really nice on my sore feet. He talked about physical theatre and the importance of letting go. Throughout the day we played games that focused on responding to our partner physically. For example: we were split up into groups of five. Within the group, one person would do a phrase of motions that had a clear beginning middle and end. This would spark in impulse in another person which would spark an impulse in another and so on. We ended up having a really awesome conversation with one another just thorough our movements. The next step was incorporating sounds with our movements. The sounds we made we bloops and bleeps and wops and weewooooos and so forth. It was so neat how stories unfolded, completely unplanned and unintelligible, but just based off our movements and sounds, we were conversing.

In our second class we explored the different levels of awareness. It started with complete stasis, then to being completely guarded where our body didn't want to move and gravity was in complete control, then to being present but guarded. We were hiding a part of ourselves. This level as the teacher described it, is the level we live our lives in. The next was awareness, we became aware of the people around us. Next, we are aware of a small audience that has come to see us walk around the space. And finally, we were became aware that we were performing in a Colosseum, in front of millions of people. At times we would just stand with our arms open wide, occupying as much space as possible, embracing all the millions of people around us and we would let out a sustained "HUUUH". This was to let the world FEEL THE FULL WEIGHT OF WHO WE ARE. Every movement we made, we had to visualize the impact it was having on the world. Ronlin explained that when we become concentric (focusing only on ourselves), we go within ourselves and it leads to death. We need to be aware of those around us. We need to be constantly aware of impulses and ready to respond.  

One exercise we did focused on responding to our impulses honeslty. We were back on the sprung floor. Our class split into two groups on either side. We had to run, leap, stop, turn and look at our partner, look out into the audience and say the person's name, look back at the person, have an impulse and interaction with our partner and based on that impulse find a way to exit. This was all in sync with our partner. With each step, we had to make sure to take our time and make each moment clear and committed, even if we didn't know the other person's name (I was called Jezebel... it made quite a funny scene). There were some really beautiful scenes and funny moments that arose out of this exercise. It was amazing how a 10 second thing could be a whole play unto itself.

Some great quotes of the day:
Only out of clarity does beauty arise. 
The essential leads to poetry.

There are no profound plays written about the clown because profundity is inherit in the clown. The clown in intrinsically profound just in it's being, that it doesn't need to verbally express or have a deep plot to be deep. The clown represents what is in each one of us: our darkest and most vulnerable selves. The essential leads to poetry.

I love physical theatre because our bodies tell such a beautiful story. We, as people feel things and understand things within our bodies in a much richer way than our minds could ever try to understand. We can tell such simple and beautiful and honest stories, just based on how our bodies move. Characterization is formed before a character even speaks, it is how they occupy and manipulate the space around them. That is so beautiful. It makes me wonder what story my body is telling and what ripples it is causes in the universe.

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