As a technique, it develops the understanding that “all the information is in the body.”
Raina von Waldenburg
Raina von Waldenburg (Center for Embodied Performance) trained in the river work pioneered by Jerzy Grotowski. Info on Raina’s May 24, 25 Vancouver Workshop at Studio 45 West appears at the end of this post.
Susan: I wonder about the distinctions between acting and dance in using river work for research and training.
Jennifer: River work is performance and improvisational training, not a muscular skeletal training, not part of technique class.
Training in performance involves learning to recognize impulses. By not recognizing the impulse, you leave the audience confused or bereft – they are not satisfied, they fall asleep, they are denied that which they crave. So you learn to recognize and partner impulses.
Susan RAINA von Waldenburg (Centre for Embodied Performance) is teaching a workshop here in Vancouver this weekend. She trained in the Grotowski river work and describes it as
“a series of improvised river-like movements that connect the actor to his/her body as a continuum of organic gesture, and elicit from the actor extended aliveness and a deep sense of truth. As a technique, it develops the understanding that “all the information is in the body”.
Jennifer In some respects dance and acting diverge, but it’s the same principle – that all the information you need is harboured in the body. The river is the living of the life of an impulse, from it not being there, to its arrival, to where it takes you, to the demise of the impulse and the absence, until it comes again. The cycle of it.
Linda (Putnam) taught us plastiques. Done as mechanical exercises, at some point they cease to be mechanical. The dancer is overtaken by an image or impulse, and follows it, living it.
The actual training is first to recognize the nature of the impulse. Is it a movement impulse or the world of an image? And we learn to discern the difference between image and trance. When is there impulse? Did you see it? When did it cease? How do you recognize when it is gone, and how do you pick up again?
Workshop with Raina Von Waldenburg: