IDOCs » why compromise. mind the dance. CHAPTER 3
A personal way of documentation in several chapters by Márta Ladjánszki (H) Proofreading by Zsolt Varga Connected to: Compromised Position by Sybrig Dokter (NL/SE) and Role Change by Monica Gillette (US) and Clint Lutes (US/FR)
2017.11.06

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why compromise. mind the dance. – 2017
5th IDOCDE Symposium on Contemporary Dance Education
A personal way of documentation in several chapters by Márta Ladjánszki (H)
Proofreading by Zsolt Varga

CHAPTER 3

Compromised Position by Sybrig Dokter (NL/SE) THIS IS AN ALL DAY EVENT
A space decorated with a sofa and some theatrical lights to be lit and a camera to record self interviews about the symposium’s main topic: COMPROMISE… I didn’t participate as I was pretty busy with catching up with the workshops I planned to document but could talk a bit with Sybrig who chose to spend the whole day in the basement (studio 3) and was waiting for possible visitors and participants. She offered her work to edit the 12 self-interviews during the night to be able to present it on Sunday (next day) to the participants of the symposium.
I would have not needed such presentation especially as most of us knew it was a hard and technically complex job to make in such a short time… I just wished to listen to a presentation about the concept, but even not organizing such could have been very okay for me if there would be a  chance to watch the interviews as part of idocde documentation – a chain of self monologues.


At this point I started to wonder what exactly I was looking for at this symposium (beside my own research how to document a class/work and to witness the leaders’ strategies and ways of sharing).
Later on in the closing circle Eszter Gál asked us to reflect by writing some post-it notes about our expectations and by reading them now I think I am  perfectly resonating with the following ones.
“I expected:
– to become a part of the community;
– to have new inputs about practices;
– to meet curious people and to create a meaningful place, space and time to exist in;
– to be stimulated and engaged;
– unexpected connections;
– time to meet, talk and share outside of scheduled workshop times;
– to find place to try out;
– to listen, to be in dialogue with my peers, to learn different experiences/approaches to a teaching practice;  
– to refresh my understanding;
– to be inspired;
– to access innovative information;
– to learn from others not only with language but by the way they are.
All in all to find a different space for reflection about dance rather than the academic space and/or training space.”

I hope this is something what you did expect from me…


Role Change by Monica Gillette (US) and Clint Lutes (US/FR)
I was happy to enter the space as I had some previous experience and knowledge about Clint’s work. We happened to visit Lucky Trimmer Festival where Clint was a co-founder and our association became partner organization in the past few years. At that time he was introducing the project which now I had the chance to witness also in practice.

As a welcoming Brazilian music waved in the space, which was one of the biggest studios in Arsenal Monica and Clint placed wooden chairs in a huge circle (I was hoping to be able to hear them while working with the participants).
The participants (older generations as well as younger ones and practitioners) gathered in a slower rhythm. It seemed to me that this was the only workshop in the symposium which was focusing on having not just dance teachers but also participants probably with Parkinson.

BEGINNING
Monica and Clint started the 3 hour long workshop with a light invitation, started to fill up the space and set the participants on the chairs. Exactly as many chairs as participants (seemed to be part of the work).
After a short introduction in double languages (German and English) they started to moderate the first exercise on the chairs.

As I was sitting facing to the sun (entering the space through the huge door) I could see siluets walking and sometimes watching each other. As I didn’t want to interrupt the focused activity I just stayed there.
While walking Clint asked the participants to find partners who they didn’t so well know and to find a chair where they would continue working in couples.

In the next part one could choose to work in sitting or in standing and following Clint’s instructions they shook their hands, arms, reached out also with the fingers, “reaching far away” like a morning warming up. They spread out the toes and feet by using the inspiration of “opening the space”. They even watch at the turning, stretched out legs reaching to the front as well as to the back. Then they took the legs in the air (using only the muscles or with the hands as well). Then the other side came. Finally they reached across the bodies with the arms and fingers.
They calmed down the breathing and changed moderator as Monica started to talk (while Clint time to time gave them translation).

MASSAGE IN COUPLES in which one was next to the chair (bending over or just putting weight on the back of it) and the other was giving massage. Some instructions like: “scratching like a cat”,  “drumming a bit on the back” (the one was massaged could even use the voice or humming), “spread warm water/olive oil/butter on the back” (of course just imaginary). It was a light way of warming up together, at the end of it the one was massaged rolled up until full standing. Then the partner gave a soft input onto the top of the head which point should be connected with the bottom of the feet (imaginary).
“Shower down and step back (so the one can feel the space around him/her) then change roles” – could be heard.

Just now, at the end of this exercise they did a NAME-CIRCLE (sitting on the chairs) by using the game ““dance and name and repeat the gesture and the name plus finish together as a group”” =  first draw into the air by movement, then let us know your name and after this the group together repeated the name and movement. On a point Clint stood up (showing the possibility that the exercise could work out also in standing – just stay in the circle, so he pushed out his chair). It was just a light suggestion but not a must.
As there are pretty a lot of people, around 28 person in the group this part became a long process. They might even not remember all the names – but this might be not the point at all.
Monica tried to keep the group together (which could be a bit harder as in the group of movers there were dancers, therapists and also older participants). They had to keep together their attention.
Slowly turned the bit movement based “introducing” into a more gesture based way (swiping the face, clapping, gestures with the hands). In a movement arching to the back the chairs are giving out sounds softly as they are formulating while the participants were moving on them. We could not say that it broke the SILENCE, as they were echoing still the names, so there was a kind of sound around, but for sure the SILENCE was full filled in which they were witnessing each others’ movements and names.
At this point we were around 40’ of working as a man arrived in wheel chair and with his company around.
Just in this moment walked into the center of the circle one of the local participants giving the option of moving a big more into the inner space. As the name circle got to Manfred (the man in wheelchair) his wife excused themselves for being late and also that her Manfred would not be able to move properly but wanted to join the group work.
This class might not be a sweaty one but we had to pay attention deeply.

As they finished the name circle, Monica offered a new exercise to connect one body part to one sound and now the partners had to transport this to another body part of their (so not clear copying). DIFFERENT SPOT gave them the chance to practice the quick recognition and understanding what was happening, the participants even had to decide pretty fast how they wanted to react. At the halfway of the circle Monica modified the rule that whole transporting the information they could use different timing.

[While they were playing their games I meditated for a moment if I could do such with my family? It could be interesting to pay attention to each other and give time in an un-stressful way, just play instead of talking next to each other or not even talk on a family gathering.]

At the end of the circle Clint asked the participants to use the chance for the last round to copy more times and even to move into the space, so they had the chance to even find new spots, again in the format of a circle. They again teamed up into couples and get into a no-touching communication, almost picking, stroke and hitting… Clint slowly added music and asked the participants to make even bigger the movements. Slowly the circle disappeared, entered each of them into the space inside the circle of the chairs. Music wise the Brazilian feeling stayed and I catched a moment when the women next to her Manfred created a kind of hand-dance…

It was just a very short dance, although the participants seemed to move a bit longer with this focus, but now (after an hour concentration) a small intermission (10’) gave a chance to them to take a rest. With a very kind gesture Clint offered some sweets to the participants, almost each of them grabbed a tooth-killer bonbon with pleasure.

As a continuation they took out the chairs and with the instruction again by Monica “DUOS-TRIOS with the idea of “Zurückziehen/retreating und sich Zeigen/to be seen” (always HOLD BOTH HANDS)” the couples started to work by listening a new piano music section. Later on they teamed up into trios with constant connection through the hands. On this point we could witnessed that those trios who happened to be all dancers/dance educators started to move in the space with more complex movements and those who had less flexibility and courage mainly used turning to and away movements. As the music stopped each of them had to find new partners.
„Continue and extend” was the next step and they were split into two big groups – creating a classical stage and audience situation – where one group was watching the other. The classical music still with piano and soprano accompanied the dances. The movement slowed down, like the connection and movements became more fragile. The trios formulated slowly (now 4 groups) and again we could witness the differences of the participants, the different backgrounds and because of this the different way of connections, braveness in the dance. With the time we even could witness the different dynamic, building up, empathy and research.
CHANGE
In the second group Manfred also wanted to participate, although it was hard for him to walk. It was simply just eye-catching to see there was the need and curiosity when the legs were getting into steps and movement. Monica accompanied their trio and formed it into a quartet with a supportive and natural mood. While Clint took the role of witness and changed the music to a nicely tinkling one. My tears started to fall as “our” Manfred’s wife stepped out from their group (leaving behind his husband to dance with two other partners). It was such a harmonic way of the partners how they inspired the woman to leave the supportive and safe Manfred-circle and now it became eye-catching that the old couple separated but enjoyed dance with their partners around with a possible free way. Old woman and old man danced separately.
The end of the music signed the end of the movement.
[It was hard to judge how this class would have been happened without this unique couple and attention, for sure it would have been different in dynamic and guidance.]

As the music stopped (still having around 15’ from the class) they sat themselves again into circle (hold hands as well), following the focus as they oriented this circle to involve Manfred as well (decentralizing of the circle in the space more to the side of the room) and as a last exercise the SHARING happened with WATCHING EACH OTHERS’ EYE and passing the look from one person to the other – one by one.

As the circle ended, Clint asked them about FEEDBACK on the structure of the class as well as on the experiences. Monica was talking a bit about themselves and how they did start to work and research together with Clint (mentioning also the work based on Yasmin Godder’s company work which was a year long cooperation between scientists, 10 dancers and people with Parkinson diseases. In the past 1,5 year (as the program ended) each of them developed the program further in their own profession.

(… to be continued :-) )

 


Attachments:
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 21 MonicaGillette ClintLutes USA k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 22 MonicaGillette ClintLutes USA k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 17 MonicaGillette ClintLutes USA k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 33 SybrigDokter NL SE k
IDOCDE 5th Becs2017 32 SybrigDokter NL SE k
 
 

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