Saturday, September 15, 2012
SPCP 2012 Part III: The continuity of your discontinuity
We were gradually breaking up into smaller and smaller groups to perform, "Dynamic." I was really struggling with the work. Somehow, having some level of confidence with performing amounts to absolutely nothing in this practice. Ultimately, perhaps the idea that you need confidence is replaced with the necessity of maintaining curiosity and a kind of faith that your listening and learning from your body is the most important element of performance and even the most interesting to witness. In our discussion about the process of adapting the solo, Karl (who has done SPCP twice) mentioned that he knew he was ready to perform it when he had let go of ambition. This, I wrote down in the middle of a page in my notebook and underlined "ambition."
Antonija and I spoke of our sense of humiliation in performing and when deborah wrote 20 numbers on the large white pad of paper for us to fill in our names for the order of our first solo practice of "dynamic," we both waited. #2 and #17 were left. I stalled again and so I was second.
More on not following your bliss. . . Deborah has identified three stages of working with her practice:
1. The continuity of your continuity -- your identity, behavior, gender, all the ways we've been choreographed
2. The discontinuity of your continuity - (my interpretation) the attempt to intentionally interrupt your continuity
3. The continuity of your discontinuity - (my interpretation) a point in the practice where you aren't consciously thinking about movement patterns, fixating, trying to create, trying to achieve etc. you have more of a feeling.
She said - you will fail. it's impossible. isn't that a relief?
We pulled the chairs out and spaced them evenly about the edge of the pentagon floor. Detta broke the ice on performing the solos with her idiosyncratic precision and changes of focus that felt profound. I went next and felt surprisingly good about it. I realized later that there were a lot of old laurels of improvised performance I was resting on -- using my schtick, really making some good moments happen, allowing myself to comment on myself. These things are clearly not a part of the practice. It's like what my yoga teacher says about people doing asanas but not breathing -- it's not that it's bad or that its nothing, it's just not yoga."
At #2, it was easy to feel falsely accomplished because Deborah's feedback and changes accumulated over time.
--really laugh at yourself, but don't laugh out loud
--i can see the circle. i shouldn't be able to see the circle (this was a piece for me actually)
--don't let the duck bleed into comic movement
--zigzagging doesn't have to stay in one place
--add intermittent pauses in the song
--be smart about time but don't give your timing away
and on and on
Miguel took it all on for us as he lusciously closed out the first round of solos. Then we were in round 2.