the sensational presentation of the body suspended in space

Strands

Dear Meryem,

Rough and Smooth. Messiness and falling. Geometrical instability. Verticality and Horizontality. Visibility-invisibility.  If I cover my eyes I can still see (sense) you.

Aerial is a technique that often worships the vertical, a thirst for height, the sensational presentation of the body suspended in space.

Even though it appears to be a vertically orientated practice from an explicit view, for me it has always felt way more  horizontal and related to floor work than an uber mastering of verticality.  For me it is a subversion of vertical-ness, a reclaiming of an ancient way of sensing our world that traversed much more dynamic environments than our current state of built urbaneness.

For me the practice works on leaning and listening, on that ever slant, or being in a (collaborative) place of resistance.  This is how I have always worked with the form….never having any interests in tugging my audience along on artificially constructed (yet incredible real in possibility) feats of strength or death. I am incredibly drawn to this much older, much more multi-dimensional way of organizing our body to move through space: climbing, swinging, hands and feet, arms and legs democratically equal in terms of availability for motion and support.   Something ancestral in its quality.

Work in the air relies on so many different landing pads, resting places, yielding, adjusting qualities of tonicity to slide through space giving unrestricted organizational priority to hands, feet, hip folds, crooks of elbows, backs of knees, back of the neck, under the arms.

I remember being confused by stage directions in my younger years: quarters, halves, up and down.  I always wondered why we organized ourselves in set space or why we took the space as a reference and not our own bodies.  That is the beauty of working in the air for me: space multiplies and manifests… there is no front, no fixed and perceived right viewing point…. Mostly because there is un predictability about which direction you may end up facing.  So for me in the incredible constructed space of a theatre that has a verticalness or a hierarchy about how or best practices to should/could organize things for our audiences gets subverted  through creating in the un used, often un noticed upper spaces in the hanging sphere.

Today I worked with soft and smooth surfaces, organized and disorganized, functional and non-functional.  I alternated between a walking practice and a climbing practice examining them as evolutionary chapters in the physicality of the body.  I worked with sight and no sight to alternate sensing.   I seem to oscillate between these evolving practices in this process.

  1. Walking
  2. Morphing
  3. Climbing
  4. Writing
  5. Sitting

When I sense you in rehearsal it is like a vibration very specifically in my bone marrow.  As I move through my day I get flashes of images of what the piece might be, just small snippets.  They come on unexpectedly and without warning, just a flash.  So thrilling and strange.

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