Hello again everyone,
The artists at Mocean Dance have now moved into the third week of creative work on a new piece by Sara Coffin. In the studio we have been exploring ideas of how technology affects us by playing with the boundaries of our ‘edges’ and discovering our bodies in fragments. In my last entry I described my experience with our first ‘out of body’ improvisations. Sara allowed us to take our movement discoveries to a new level with a facilitated somatic experience, taking our centre of weight way off axis through an exercise in the round, know as the ‘trust circle’.
Your first experience in the moon walking floating stretch machine is sure to be a new one! In the circle with your eyes closed and surrounded by your ‘trusted’ fellow dancers, you begin to transfer weight to the bodies around you, gently at first and working up to the furthest extent of your edges and beyond with the support of the dancers guiding you through space. With my eyes closed I found it easier to give into the guidance given by the other dancers. It’s a very sensory experience and almost a release and flow through movement as though you are being manipulated by some giant amoeba with many appendages. Sometimes we even left the floor! As the experiment furthered the supporting dancers were asked to move away from the person experiencing ‘the ride’ and the subject attempted to maintain the feeling of being extended beyond their edge. It’s never quite the same once the trust circle dissipates. The sensation of letting something outside you make your movement decisions is hard to recreate and certain moves are impossible without your friends. The resulting dance however can be very beautiful and unpredictable.
When it was my turn to improvise the sensation Sara challenged me by asking for quicker changes of weight or pivots. I found this prompt forced me to move in ways that surprised or shocked my body into more distorted and off balance places. I imagine the visual outcome was more what Sara was looking for and the movement journey became less about remembering positions and more about recreating the sensation.
The concept for this experience is parallel to our relationship with technology and the idea of its influence from the outside in. It was challenging, exciting, and very liberating going for ‘the ride’ and the movement outcome has been a staple for the piece thus far.
Here are a few pictures from week three. Sara and visiting media designer Andrew work together to find the most poignant combination of physical material with media support, looking for the poetics of the two merged into one.