"MOTION SCULPTURES"MOVEMENT Workshop: Approches and Guides
By Claire Elizabeth Barratt
Founder/Director Cilla-Vee Movement Projects/New York City, USA
"FROM THE SOUL" Project Description:This workshop explores elements of three movement disciplines:Isadora Duncan Technique, Butoh Dance and Motion Sculpture. These approaches to movement challenge the Human to first connect with themselves and then channel into the power of the Earth and the Universe around them. They each recognize and embrace the honesty of human emotion as a vital source from which to create.
ISADORA DUNCAN is recognized as "the Mother of Modern Dance". Working at the turn of the last century, she broke free from the constrictures of the dance, clothing and social expectations of women in that period. Drawing from the inspiration of ancient Greece, she developed a dance that is as seeped in humanity, nature and earth as it is in mythology and spirit.
BUTOH is the expressionism of post war Japan. It is a dance theatre form that fearlessly explores the extremes of humanity from exquisite beauty to the grotesque, from complete stillness to a total abandonment of control.
MOTION SCULPTURE is a movement style developed by Claire Elizabeth Barratt based on the esthetic ideal of the human becoming art object. The ties with humanity, earth and spirit are subtle, yet powerful. It is these impulses that guide its perpetual creation.
Butoh, Duncan and Motion Sculpture all come from within. These are all philosophies of movement wherein it develops organically and truthfully - with honesty and integrity from inside each individual human. "From The Soul" weaves these three complimentary movement styles seamlessly together to create a forum in which to experience the full spectrum of human as physical, emotional and spiritual being.
APPROACHES/GUIDES to the dancers to discover this 'movement':
1. FIND THE BREATH: Allowing the act of breathing to become all consuming. Filling the whole body with air, oxygen, life, hope.
Allow that filling of air to expand the body 3-dimensionally in the space becoming a strong, powerful presence in the space. This is also a direct link with the surrounding environment as you are breathing air from that environment, which then causes you to expand more into that environment and be a powerful force in it using what you are taking in from it.
Then, the exhale being a release, a dispersing the choice to completely sink and melt into yourself OR to let the breath go out beyond you far away into the universe and radiate in ripples growing wider. This is a wonderful choice what do you feel like you want to do with your breath what feels honest to you and what you need from it in this moment.
2. BREATH ACTIVATES MOVEMENT: It can be a slow filling and a measured releasing gradually causing the body to expand and release, as in a 'natural breath pattern'. Or one can use an 'erratic breath pattern' such as when laughing or sobbing and let that lead the body to create movement.
3. TAPPING INTO THE UNIVERSE: Infinite, of course but for this particular workshop we focused on drawing energy nutrients from the earth spreading roots down and deeply connecting with the stability of the ground. Somehow this gives both power and softness to the movement. Then also opening the top of the head and the chest to the sky allowing the warmth and light to be like 'solar power'. Then inviting the sense of a horizontal plane of energy (we have down into the earth and up into the sky but that can become very long and skinny if we don't have the space around us on our human level and an image of our energy from any point in our body to radiate beyond us, wrap all the way around the earth and come back to us on our other side.
4. A BASE OF SUSTAINED MOTION: We worked on developing a foundation for movement which is something constant, sustained, never stopping or starting.
5. AN AWARENESS OF EVERY SMALL GESTURE: Even the eyes rotating in the sockets to look in another direction. Everything smooth and even. Then, from this base one can launch off an any direction that the breath or the universe might take them - and then they have somewhere stable to return to.
IN RELATION TO THE SITE at REMIC RAPIDS PARK:
Using the 'tools' discovered and developed in the workshop, we each responded with complete openness and truth to the beautiful day, to the sculptures, to the scenes of John Ceprano's "Mariner's Wedding" at the Remic Rapids site curated by Nohra Corredor and to the on-site audience.
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE: It is not a 'performance' with defined borders of area and duration. The audience does not sit and watch a conventional dance piece with a beginning, a middle and an end. Rather, the viewer is invited to step into the setting and interact with it as they wish and stay for as long as they choose.