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  • Writer's pictureAlysa Leung

To observe: Dancing and talking - Mathilde Monnier 1

During my stay in Vienna, apart from my own research, I also participate in other artist’s field research projects. And my main observing artist is Mathilde Monnier, a French choreographer. In During week 1, I stayed with her in the studio and also watched her performance as a demo of her research methodology.

如果要在舞蹈和語言中二選一觀看,很多人都會聚焦語言,就算一動一靜,也會集中一個靜止的身體。 所以Mathilde Monnier 的研究集中在如何將兩者融合,讓表演更多重層次。

On the first day, from releasing the neck and face muscle to inhalations, we have spent almost 2 hours to get our body ready. Then, we do an exercise: the performer shall listen to the recording and speak it out at the same time. Like the acting class, Monnier requires us to imitate the tone and manner as the close as possible. From my observation, there are serval points that can be further explored:

  • Pause and natural response:

    • The laughter and pause connects a body to the text without language. Without the interference of text interpretation, the text context and body integrate smoothly.

  • Eyes.

    • What is the mental status, and “who you becomes to”

    • This is connected to the next point: energy projection

  • Energy projection

    • Since we are all sitting there and focusing on the audio, the concentration is at the back, as Mathilde said. However, when there is more than one person in the room, the performer starts to project the other body in the room and which creates the imagination of “others”

    • Moreover, there are also people more familiar with the voice/ language and they can focus at the back but AT THE SAME TIME, a project to the border audience.

  • Performing status

    • Interestingly, even though the presenters are just the medium of the words, when they say the words directly from their hearing, they believe in them to some extent.

    • This also creates the variations of choices: believing/ commenting

    • And if there's a sudden moment of realisation, it also creates tension with the original status.

  • Language:

    • The accent and intonation of language also suggest a mood in nature. And to those who are not mastering the second language, this helps them a lot to deliver directly

Question of today:

What would happen I you were the natural medium for the text? How to be a performer body for the voice in the head?

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