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  • Writer's pictureAlysa Leung

To observe: Dancing and talking - Mathilde Monnier 3

Today, my research goal is to test my recordings of a personal conversations. I have collected and reconstructed voices from my family members and re-order them in 3 mins logical way.


The key task today is about ‘space and togetherness’, so I don’t think the conversation in Cantonese helps a lot in terms of building the scene… am I being too driven by the scene?


Today’s main task is a one-hour exercise on big group improvisation. This is a very intense piece, like an ocean full of landscapes and possibilities. We never know what’s going to happen next. And together with so many people each individuality is well established through the text: Performers enter the room with their voices on headphones. However, at the same time, they have to react and create the scene. The only rule is: no more than two situations on stage.


I find myself having a different understanding of the “situation” after this one hour. In terms of ‘establishing connection as situation’, it can be anyways and form, not just synchronised. It can be a counterproposal, a reinforcement, or an action to react. These decisions have opened up the freedom and variety of happenings on stage.


Also, being “in/out” from a moment/scene, it is a sharp decision. How to enter with an idea, preferably sustain a moment, and hold till the last… these strong moments of decision have created a lot of tension within one body and the group.


What if there’s no spoken test on stage?

How to maintain its tension without too many voices?

How to sustain a text in a body?

How the choice is made through the meaning of the text?

Even the body is doing a small action, think bigger and project further.


These are the questions we have to think of. Also, we feel that when we are too busy on our text/ composing the space/ reacting to others, our body is “dead”. Indeed, this is due to the multitasking mode. Yet, we can never neglect the fact of our body awareness.


This inspires me to draw a trialectic model for describing the relations between text/ body/ audience:


“Content of the text- rhythm and body of the dance- addresses of spectators”


As Mathilde always emphasises, who you want to talk to, and what you want to say? These questions are closely related to theatre but translated into dance. In theatre, we talk about “resigning”. In dance, we seek the moment that dance for the audience, communicate with the partners, or just in our bubble and create tensions through space.


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