Category Archives: Movement

Cecelias Herz

About a year ago I had the great opportunity to direct my own short piece, within my college course. This directed piece was part of my curriculum but I nonetheless had incredible freedom. in my creative choices.

In just six weeks time it was my task to rehearse and devise a piece, that could be either be based on a script or any form of theatre.  The only rules I had to obey, was that it shouldn’t be longer than 15 minutes and that it shouldn’t be too inappropriate. But other than that we had a free hand and a free choice.

I decided to write my own script and to use it for my devising work. For a while I’ve been playing with the idea to write a script that deals with mental illness and its current status in society. I was particular drawn to Sigmund Freud’s theories on psychology and mental illness and how his personal life influenced his work.

I decided to write a script for classical theatre. But after being on the course I changed my mind and incorporated aspects of surreal theatre, Artaudian theatre and dance theatre. I changed my script but stayed true to the core ideas of my play. I wanted to show how people with mental illness are wrongfully judged by society and I think in the end I succeeded.

In just 6 weeks I managed to create my piece and I’m so proud of the people who worked with me and that realised the whole thing with me. I still can’t believe that I was allowed so much freedom, that I could actually use a pig’s heart (in jar I have to say) and strip my actresses down to their underwear.

The video shows the performance but unfortunately didn’t succeed in catching everything. There was a lot of audience interaction going on that couldn’t have been filmed. But the video is still a good fragment, a good record of my piece. A piece that I would like to stage again one day.

In honour of Cecelias Herz.

The River in me

I promised you a full blog yesterday and here it is. Today I will talk more about my involvement with the “Response Time/ Pilotlight” project. I will explain a bit how I spend the last 35 hours and what I devised so far. I also will give some inside about the devising process I used to create a response piece to my stimuli and inspiration; a displayed canvas series in the gallery.

I already showed you my inspiration in my blog yesterday. When I stepped into the gallery on Thursday for the first time ever I noticed the “Three Rivers Dancing” immediately and was in awe. I was generally fascinated by Sandra Masterson’s artwork. Aislinn Knight’s work was inspiring as well, although Masterson’s work was more interesting to me. I had ideas right away and am still not sure if that was so, because I hadn’t devised any performance work for a while. All artworks were a real inspiration, as was the gallery itself; which was a car shop once.

After I inspected every inch of the gallery, I sat down to note my ideas down. I often do this when I devise work. Notes and photos help me a lot at times to formulate my ideas and to make them become clearer. Because I had a lot of inspiration and stimuli to choose from, I created a rather long lists of ideas. Here a little extract of all the ideas I had and to which stimuli they respond to:

  • To create a movement sequence based on “Three Rivers dancing”.

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  • To recite the poem “Der Erlkoenig” (by Goethe) while I hide ino of the secret cupboard of the gallery.

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  • Staging a spontaneous protest against the Kyoto protocol and to hold a hate speech against global warming.

  • Recording nature sounds and play them while I recite definitions and quotes concerning the topics of nature and landscape

  • To “re-open” one of the famous Parisian 1900 cafés and to hold a philosophical discussion about nature, art and landscape.

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The actual list is longer. But in the end I needed to make a decision and chose the ideas I wanted to pursue further. I choose three favourite ideas and decided to test them all out in the next 24 hours to see where they lead me. My main focus was on the creation of a movement sequence as a reaction to the already mentioned canvas series(„Three Rivers Dancing“), and was also considering to incorporate recordings of nature sounds. My second ideas was it to use Goethe’s poem and my last, to create a text out of definitions and quotes concerning nature & landscape and to perform that text

Yesterday I started my devising process, by focusing on my first idea; to create a choreography for my movement piece as a reaction to the picture. During the day I managed to devise my first two minutes of the final piece. I have to add, that it’s normal to spend so much time to create movements and to find the right/ fitting ones. This is because I attempt, to find and create movements, that are related to abstract terms. With this work, I had the goal in mind; to develop movements that retract & retrace the flow/ the forms of the depicted rivers. I especially wanted to develop step movements and patterns that duplicate and imitate the river paintings. But I also wanted to create this form of “cloning” & duplication with other body parts; such as my arms, my hips and my face.

In addition, I also wanted to create movements den I personally associate with the term ‘River’. I recalled memories of my childhood, my movement pattern of this time when I was playing at the river and tried to revive some of them. I tried to adapt this movements – inspired by memories – so that they fit the mode I sensed in the pictures. I also used the physical vocabulary system “In all Languages” to create some individual movements.

I tried to piece all individual sequences together, after I constructed enough of these. I edited and changed these many times, until I was happy with the result. Today (Saturday) I devised my movement piece further, still using the same techniques and managed to finish the piece. I can only hope that it will be at least half descent.

Then I had the idea to incorporate my third idea somehow and to use nature sounds and recorded text as the soundtrack of my piece. On Friday I was clever enough to record the water noises of a river near my house. I also searched the internet for any definition of nature and landscape last night. The best ones were copied and paste into a word document

First I read through all the definitions and got rid of the parts that weren’t interesting for me. Then I changed them and abstracted them, and also added a bit of my own text. Towards the end of the process I rearranged the snippets that were left and had a good text as a final product. I then recorded the text and another participant mixed the river sounds with the text recording and created a soundtrack for me.

It was great fun to devise my piece and to participate. Response Time just reminded me, that I made the right decision, to pursue my dream and to follow my passion. The last 35 hours once again reminded me, why I choose theatre and performing as my future. This project also offered a platform for me to use my fantasy,to work hard yet again and to develop my talent. I really cannot wait to share my piece and to maybe inspire people to find their own inner river. As I found my inner river.