Walking up Drakou Street. I become aware that in four versions of the Lab, some habits have been established, like always stopping at the same periptero (kiosk) to get the big bottle of water (only one euro!), which will be most necessary as the days are quickly getting hotter. I also notice that I ways walk on the same side of the street, right side, through the outside café and bar tables that now line the street, or perhaps already anticipating the fork on the road where Drakou become Erechthiou, were I must bear right, and climb to the studio, facing the Irodio.. Cats everywhere.
Someone outside the metro almost smiles at me. Wasn't sure if this was directed at me, so I keep walking (was I rude?). Enter the studio, I finally meet Angeliki, the studio administrator who I have only communicated with electronically since January when we got the planning going, she has been so patient with me, trying to learn 'how the lab works' through my rambling emails. Next to her is Maria Sermpou (I already know her) and next to her, Marilena greets me. Two people enter, I recognise Xica from her picture, and following her, the woman who almost smiled at me, now acquiring the name Ismini (now I really feel bad about not smiling back!). Maria Tsichli arrives next and finally Maja. We try to keep our voices low as the yoga class has not finished, we fail miserably. There is excitement in the hellos and new acquaintances.
We finally take possession of the studio, official 'introductions' begin. 'Why am I here' which will not be detailed here as I have asked them to prepare this as a first entry to get their pages going. I am impressed by the range of experiences other than dance - from biology to one currently still studying medicine, in fact today she will have to leave early as she has a surgery exam (we are humbled by her dedication -talk about multi-tasking). Practicalities (the blog, the notebooks, the writing, etc) take up almost the time. However, we decided to take a pause and work til 5, ensuring that we manage to get the process going. So ahead of my 'full workshop' tomorrow, we begin to go through a series of tasks and experiences to open up our 'thinking physically' towards issues of process which will be the focus of my days.
We do some of the tasks of my 'map of the sense' exercise (for more on this refer to 'The Dream Project' click here to read) but always modified for the occasion. This time I use it to draw attention to issues of intention(ality), trying to make a distinction (although the processes are related) between the experience of moving and the experience of 'making' [a] movement. We use sense stimulus to draw attention to movement with an external referent. We then explore the same experience of movement having brought intention to within the movement itself, no longer linked to an external referent - same movement? maybe, same experience - don't think so! This bring in the question of inner/outer imagery and the role it plays in feed-backing a process of 'moving' . How do we gain intention/motivation from the process itself. What kind of 'kinetic beings' are we, we all deal with the experience of moving differently, what makes it sense-ful? touch, sense experience, enjoyment of movement, intensity, play... we are distinct and unique in this, and recognising this within ourselves is - I propose- in part linked to the kind of choreographers we are, and of course linked to the choreography 'we do'. Again, choreography first as an act, and experience before it is a medium of communication, related but also distinct. There is much discussion about this.
Movement memory, again there are many ways into movement memory, memory in movement - how do we remember, what do we remember. Important to note as it affects the evolution of the process, its way into form.
The final tasks lead us into sharing of kinetic experience. Is it possible? How? To what degree? A lot of this sharing balances on knowing/not knowing, on considering the process of movement as a giving, movement as a receiving. What are these two interconnected within a creative process and how does this connect to the final stages as the form acquires intelligibility when perceived by others (other dancers, audience, me as a series of others within my own process).
We agree that today was about front-loading questions, my method of facilitation when dealing with intensive periods. This load will be unpacked as we progress through the weeks to come. I ask them to consider the idea of 'giving time', giving space in and within the process perhaps bring into time, bring into space (this in Latin languages is a birthing a 'bring to light'- dar a luz).
Homework for tomorrow - brain storm on the idea, concept, word intension, in-tension, intens(ion).