Savannah's Theatre Blog

Thursday, 7th October: Butoh Performance, Class 2

Posted in All About Butoh by Savannah on October 7, 2010

So today we continued with working on our Butoh performance (which has a rough date set – November 1st!).

We started by working on the back dance that we had done during the workshop and had started doing last class but we were using music that Ms Flood found this time so it was more interesting. I was partnered with Geoffrey at the start wich was difficult in some ways. It should have been difficult given the height different (about a head) but I found that was actually okay. Our 2 workshop leaders hadn’t had a problem with that anyway. However, this time Geoff did crouch down a little bit so he was my height which would have been hard for him when the level (height) was lower. Ms Flood then put us into positions; a pyramid of sorts. I was placed standing whilst their were a few sitting to make it visually more interesting. We were then on opposite sides of the “stage” and had to make our way (slowly) to our positions. The first time I did this I didn’t really use my back much for the walking part, I don’t think I was as self-aware as I should have been. I changed this for the time after. Watching Daniel move to his position was interesting (not watching creepily though!) because he wasn’t grasping the concept of subtle and smooth movements. Ms Flood changed his position a while after as he was at the front and I did wonder whether it was because of this. I’m not sure if he got it a bit better as we went on as I was concentrating on my own movements but I felt that I sensed more awareness as weird as that seems. It was interesting to be put on a lower level and I found that I liked it more in that position because it gave me an option to be on a totally different level from walking without wrecking the balance we  had.

After the back dance we did the pencil/focus exercise. Gosh! It was so exhausting! When our partner went away and we still held that focus I found that going slightly cross-eyed and looking at a make-believe pencil was essential for that focus. At times however, there was no person on the other end holding the pencil and I was balancing it on the tip of my nose like a seal with a beach ball. We split up into two groups and crossed the room, weaving between the other group and then reconnecting with our group. I tried to keep as much focus as humanly possible and I think it payed off because Ms Flood asked me to cross the room by myself (exciting! I’m sure she wouldn’t have asked me to go across by myself if I was terrible or if she wasn’t affected by what I was doing). By the time I got to the other end, I was absolutely exhausted! I was happy though, that I’d been able to maintain that focus.

Our final idea that we work shopped was my idea I am happy to say! It came from the twitching idea (which I can’t take full credit for) as well as the throwing of energy and different people being on different energy levels. We had:

Taleah and I – energy level 6

Geoffrey and Jesse – energy level 7

Cathy and Daniel – energy level 5

Mel (who was absent) – energy level 2/3

I threw my energy to Geoff first and took on his energy level. Various “throwings” continued to happen through the piece of music that Ms Flood had found. It felt so energetic and amazing! I think everyone shared these feelings and I think it will be all the more effective when Mel’s back.


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