This week's training was our 2nd to last of the year so we had to make it count!
During the first part of our training, we focused very specifically on the area where our spine attaches to our neck. We worked from "monkey" and examined how that point is deeply connected with all of our movements. Much of the company noticed that the slightest turn of the head could be clocked by feeling that 'critical juncture' (get it?? haha), We then moved on to what I describe as "Crocodile Floorwork;" replicating the spineful creature's progression of movement-from small to large. As crocodiles, we went from resting face-down in the swamp, to roaming and searching our ecosystem. For me, it was revealing to encounter the resulting mindfulness that exploring the crocodile motions elicited. We then moved on to a bit of text work, allowing the lines to come to us as we searched the room.
The next portion of training consisted of two exercises that tested our ability to both inhibit and follow our impulses in achieving a goal. We played "Red Light, Green Light" and "Simon Says." Yes, these are historically "children's games." But we found that both of these games illuminated certain aspects of our process BECAUSE of the simplicity of each games' instructions. For instance, in Simon Says, we were forced to inhibit our impulses to follow a director's direction. It takes an "extra-daily" use of energy to monitor whether or not Simon has ordered us to do something. In Red Light, Green Light, we must utilize "extra-daily" use of energy to honor the obstacle (being caught) in our pursuit of the traffic person.
We segued into clown work by first exploring an image exercise that was led by George. This exercise (which we did not know would lead to clown work), consisted of a fantastical morning routine and enabled us to enter our clown's world. It's amazing how these imagination exercises stick to our subconscious when we continue on into an improvisation. This improvisation consisted of us splitting into two groups of clowns. Our clowns interacted with "the voice" and with one another. This exercise was a potent reminder that a clowns experience, no matter how "externalized," must be as real for the clown, as Romeo's. Torvald's or Batman's journey is for them.
We ended our training by working on a few prepositions. These prepositions continue to illuminate "Life is a Dream." Each moment that is explored beams a ray of light into a crevice of the play that is unearthed. The learning is palpable!
For me, working with Magis has encouraged and illuminated the mentality that 'the work' and the journey are a destination. That training is not just a "means to an end," but an end in itself. This mindset not only makes training more satisfying in the doing-it makes it more effective on the instrument. I love the notion that we are a "training company." It's old school and swagtastic in the best possible way. I'm looking forward to celebrating our year this Tuesday with all of you! There has certainly been a lot to celebrate this week!!!