Monday, January 7, 2008

Training 1/6/08- Sampler & Mad Scientists

Hola, Gabe here people. Training Sunday was like a sampler platter at a Bennigan's, Friday's or Applebees; a little bit of everything. We also did some experimenting, trying out things not done before in our sessions--OMG we're such an experimental theatre company LOL--yeah, we had fun in the lab. The mad scientists in attendance were Casey, Frank, Malone, Wendy and I.

After Wendy's yoga Casey led us in Tai Chi. I connected well with the image of the three point prongs in your feet linking you to the earth and breathing though them; in the same way Erika does so when leading us in the Qigong. What felt new was Casey leading us through the movements emphasizing the connection w/the earth but shifting your weight through your center and into your legs but keeping that same grounded sensibility to the earth. A similar phenomenon we go through in our Suzuki training.

We also did an exercise where we gave Yin and Yang energy to each other through a series of arm movements that involved a back & forth see-saw give and take. It would take too long to describe the details; we just need to do it again so you can experience it. I enjoyed doing the exercise with my eyes closed, it hyper-sensitized my awareness. Very nice.

After Liz did the voice work Wendy did her Niky time then Frank ran us into the ground, literally. I'll let him take you on the trip.

During the Taylor I discovered another image with the lyric jump; yeah another one, no booster rockets this time though.

I feel reaching up in the jump equates to the sensation of the reach in "desire" (during our "push, pull, reach, throw" in Niky time). The landing in the lyric jump is the "survival" (i.e. our tush holding us back in the reach). I feel desire is a very lyric energy and the jump physicalizes this well. Yet, the landing in the jump gives the physical sensation of a soft safe survival instinct to balance out the intensity and sometimes illogical passion of desire. I truly relate to this on a personal level as I'm sure many of you do. The booster rockets of desire shoot you up in the air and the parachute of survival lands you softly on the ground. Ah, the necessity of balance, passion & logic; the story of my life all in one lyric jump. But that's just my take.

We came up with something cool after I led the Taylor. In keeping with the exercise of neutrality and energy exchange through running at each other, we discovered a hybrid of this and an Ann Bogart exercise.

Remember one of the first viewpoint exercises of being in a circle and jumping at the same time? Yeah, that one. Well, this time we decided to have the same sensibility but instead of jumping we ran into the center of the circle together. It was that same sense of counting in the circle but not knowing who is going to say "1, 2, 3, 4" etc.

When we finally all ran in together we kept that sensibility, with connection and exchange of energy, then dispersed back into a circle at the same time. Very cool, yummy energy, mmmmmmm :)

Next time when we rushed the center we added text. The challenge? Keeping your energy focused while six other people are talking to each other at once, overlapping then dispersing to the circle again in silence. Awesome. Why?

I feel the Witlings is a piece that goes at light speed and the dialogue so jabby that many of the lines (as with Shakespeare) go so fast that people are nearly talking over each other. Especially in the group scenes when all the madness and mayhem is occurring. This exercise was a practice run at managing that mayhem, with skill & focus, as well as the rapidity of action that goes on in this play. I feel we have to be even that much more hypersensitive to each others energy and dialogue because so many things will be going on at the same time when this play goes full throttle.

That being said, that's why I've been making it an uber-objective of mine to begin this process by not compromising the connection for speed, emphasizing slowly warming up to it. Also, being hyper-sensitive to my relationship with each person in the ensemble whether they be upstage left or in the wings. The ball is always in the air.

I look forward to more Magis mad science. Huzzah ;-) Peace Witlings!


1 comment:

Magis Theatre Company said...

Good stuff Gabe et al. Let's use this to think now about throughline of energy... how does what we get in yoga go into Tai Chi. How does accessing Chi translate to character... to some of the work we are doing with Michael Chekhov and the idea of "radiance."
That booster rocket image for the Robert Taylor work is a good one for the action of jump, and this is exactly where the Chi comes in. How does my Chi boost me up? How is my jump physically just something that my Chi is already doing and then just taking my body along for the ride.
While it's a good image for the jump, I think it's a different thing than the lyric energy. For me Lyric is not about the jump, it's really about the suspension that happens when we reach the crest of the jump: that weightlessness, floating where anything can happen.
Good point about the desire/survival tension that we talk about in the action of "reach. Again, the idea in this is to strike exactly that balance you're talking about. When the action of reach is perfectly balanced we never know where it's going to land us, and that not knowing is always where the "search" is.