ensemble research #2
Way Out West (WOW) is an annual intensive in Vancouver offering in-depth somatic study through daily classes based on the exploration of multiple physical systems, including technique, improvisation, experiential anatomy, performance, and yoga. WOW 2013 is in session this week, led by MascallDance Artistic Director Jennifer Mascall.
Photography is by Yvonne Chew;
Each year, the intensive’s Experiential Anatomy focuses on a different aspect of the body’s systems; this session’s focus is the fluid systems. I sat in on part of a session on synovial fluid. Here’s a snippet:
Synovial fluid is found in the cavity of some of the joints, contained by a membrane that seals the synovial fluid inside the joint cavity. Our task ultimately is to embody our understanding of the quality of the synovial fluid. Today we’ll study it by investigating it on our own bodies, through visualization, using anatomical drawings, and by hands-on manipulation of another’s joints.
As art researchers, we investigate the synovial fluid to obtain as much lubrication and range as possible for the bones, which provide the geometry of our dancing; engaging bone geometry with the synovial fluids creates incredible potential for choreography.
Note the change in the room.
Stop now, and be attentive to differences you feel. Check. This is not magic. Does it feel different?
Maybe it does, maybe not.
I’m going to try and feel something of this slippery quality in the joint of another person just by moving it around. Wriggle – not so much – and see if we find the slippery quality. It’s quite playful. People who work with synovial fluid report that it initiates character impulses, and also laughter – so maybe we will laugh for the whole class, which would be fine.