Over the first two weeks of winter term I was invited to assist my friend Nadja Voorham who’s doing MA in performance at the RCA, London. Being a dancer she is interested in body work and expression through movement and for this project she had an idea about a performance based on wrestling and acrobatics. After three sessions of intense movement exercises we developed a semi choreographed performance that took place on the opening night of the Work In Progress Show, January 22, 2016.
Click on link to see a short video of the documentation. Password is: nina.
The process of developing a performance struck me as very much like any other creative process I’ve been through. The focus is much on problem solving which is something Marvin Gaye Chetwynd also mentioned in a performance workshop last term. In this case problem solving included avoiding sexual tension, avoiding too vulnerable poses and keep the balance between structure and improvisation.
I find it very natural and fulfilling to use my body in expressional purpose. When doing this kind of body work I have experienced several positive effects. First of all the mindfulness of being totally present in the moment and experiencing time become irrelevant and impossible to keep track of. Secondly, if you’re working together you really sharpen your awareness of the other person(s) and naturally practice your sense of empathy towards them.
I’m interested in community and spirituality/non-spirituality in secular, individualist societies and I want to explore it through some kind of body work.
I was also in charge of doing costume/styling for the performance.
Inspired by the tangling movements we were practicing I wanted to distort the clothes somehow but keep them quite normal in order to not exaggerate the wrestling or Tai Chi vibe that could come with the kind of body work we were going to perform.
This resulted in two outfits, slightly deformed and in contrasting colours. Jeans, stretch, pin-stripes and beige colour gave the look a “normal” feeling that I was looking for.