During the lab, Samuel lead some exercises exploring movement and mark making, stemming from his own practice as a drawer. The lab was presented with several points of interest which have come up from observing and drawing Contact Improv.
Beginning with a breathing exercise we explored how to connect the breath with a moveable point of focus. Bringing forth from the imagination a point which we explored how to manipulate it with the breath.
We then explored how to give properties - weight, mass and volume and explored through improvised movement how to manipulate this point around the body, beginning with inside – with the questions of how to follow lines within the body of circulation, paying particular attention to where the point physically is, and what the point was moving through – flesh, muscle, joints and bone.
Introducing weight, mass and volume as separate properties to the point, we explored how these properties could work autonomously to our own improvised movement with the following questions:
How does the movement of the point effect our movement when we increase the size of the point, but keep its weight (or mass) the same as a small point. Observation notes: this made movement look stunted or broken, like there was something keeping us from making a full gesture.
How is movement effected when we decrease the size to a very tiny point, but increase the energy of it moving within the body. Observation notes: rapid changes of direction, fidgety movement.
How is movement effected when point takes on weight, and joints take on a magnetic or sticky feel. Observation notes: swinging around the point within your body like a ball, catching it in the bottom of limbs. Flowing and more released movement.
What happens when point is allowed to extend outside the body, increasing in mass, but not size. This also introduced the interaction of people, through observation, becoming aware of other peoples revolving points.
We then explored this theme of a point with properties in a new exercise, exploring the passing or throwing of the point between partners – as if the point was an imaginary ball, reading from your partners experience of how big, how heavy, the point is, as well as how much energy the point was given in throwing, and catching accordingly. Observation notes: people introduced a real ball to simulate what it was like, and then played with real and non real.
In another experiment, we explored through non-visual experience, how gesture and movement can be ‘experienced’ and recreated. Assembling into pairs, one person closed their eyes and touched the other person – watching or experiencing the other persons movement, as they made a simple gesture, which the person with their eyes closed would then have to replicate with their own bodies the gesture as best they had just experienced. Observation notes: often people though that it was easier to keep their eyes closed in order to recreate the movement.
We then tried this in a large group, passing the gesture around everyone, and then watched the evolution of the movement at the end.
The last part of the lab was left pen for people t explore the relationship of physical line and movement, where we set out a large piece of paper and some chalks, and split the group into two. The first group became the movers and the second the drawers. The movers explored again how a point with various properties would effect their movement (heavy, light, big, small, sticky, slippery… etc) and the drawers explored how to follow the this point with a line made by drawing chalk on the large piece of paper. The group then swapped after five minutes so everyone got a go which then led into our own exploration of the materials.
Observation notes and comments from the end:
There was a difficulty in understanding the terminology that I was using, which led to a difficulty understanding what I meant by point, and how it could effect our movement.
It was interesting when left at the end, figuring out and playing with movement of being a drawer, questioning weather the drawer was recreating someone else’s movement
Interestingly – discussion whilst eating turned to photography and the use of peoples faces, and what they felt appropriate within the context of certain environments. I have had little or no questioning whilst drawing.
Check out my facebook page for the ful album of photographs of the works https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.533307486719309.1073741825.255178384532222&type=1