Thursday, 6 August 2015

Failure Project Day Four: Unquantifiable Failures

Today felt oddly difficult. I suppose I am tired, and Lara is too, and yesterday's work had started to stir up the darker currents that run through the topic of failure.

I've had the (blindingly obvious) personal revelation that dancers probably use emotional recall as much as actors do, so we spent the morning looking through all the questionnaire responses that I received, searching for words that resonate. A recurring word was "expectations" - our own, other people's, those of society. I definitely connect to that; I make a lot of effort to manage my expectations of myself, mostly because I often find other's expectations of me too uncomfortable to bear. We spent some time exploring weight and resistance in movement as a result.

Yesterday we'd also spent some time talking about times in our lives that we've both felt trapped and constrained, so today we decided to take that further. We explored improvising with actual constraints: how can I move if I strap one leg up, with my calf against the back of my thigh? How about if I connect my wrist to an ankle?

We also returned to an exploration of text and movement, because at some point I'm going to have to consider content if I go ahead and make a piece out of this. Again, working with personal stories of my own, we explored movement that works with the text, and movement unrelated to text: how does the content affect movement, or movement affect content? When do they complement each other, and when is there tension?

I feel like we've moved from quantifiable failures at the beginning of this week - i.e. can I get this choreography right? - to unquantifiable ones. How can you express an experience like depression through movement, when the experience of it seems so much about remaining in stasis?

I know I said that we'd return to Sergei and Beyoncé, but I have a feeling that they have served their purpose for now. Never say never, though - I'm still bringing in my heels every day.

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