WOW experiential journal

WOW experiential journal

wow2014

Welcome to Way Out West 2014 – student journal

mallory headshot

Intensive participant Mallory Amirault has generously agreed to share her journalled impressions of WOW 2014.  Born and raised in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and currently studying at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Mallory is a Métis artist primarily focused on performance art.   Her practice directly rejects censorship, and she refuses to be silenced by systemic regimes.    Mallory’s impressions, excerpted below, give us a glimpse of one participant’s WOW from the inside. 

 

MONDAY AUGUST 18

Finally, it’s here. The week of WOW.

I’ve been waiting for this since the beginning of July. 

TECHNIQUE CLASS: 

I have no previous dance training whatsoever. Feeling concerned I’ll hold up the class, I opt to observe.  As I watch though, I notice several non-dancers doing just fine.

Jennifer leads class with her body, concurrently rattling out strange vocal sounds that I find a pleasure to listen to:  “Sweep your arms! huh-oiy-gee-shee-shee 6 and back hay-hoi shee-shee 8, 9, 10.”  This vocal expression of our bodily movement is just sound, pure and total vibration.  I notice that no students vocalize yet.

I’m captured particularly by the synovial fluids work which concerns the shoulders (my body’s repository of years worth of sedimented injuries).

EXPERIENTIAL ANATOMY CLASS:

Move with the breath.  At first it seems simple…

I can feel my skeleton, but not my lungs – this apparently is typical.  I struggle.  My mind can’t make a path to think solely about the lungs, but rather needs to move/feel all the bodily systems together.  This “thinking whole” instead of “in part” makes more sense to me since each part works harmoniously together to make up our experiential bodies.

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 We breathe into the bottom, middle and tops of our lungs (which reach all the way into our clavicle, woah).  I can’t find words for what the breath feels like inside my body.  I try craters, then pebbles. However, I can feel the length of my lungs, when instead of filling entirely at the inspiration, my breath spirals through me, reaching sharp ridges that extend outward, propelling my breath backward against itself. Then it fragments and looses its’ twirling dance into my lungs. Instantly I can feel it jutting out to creak against my ribcage or crook up to my shoulders and into their impacted memories. These ridges, which disperse my breath and move me more into my skeleton, are not ledges or pebbles; they’re parapets – they’re stories.

Lots of surprises occur internally and externally. Experiential anatomy rattles my cage (literally, my ribcage). It makes me want to run around like a wild woman, scream, throw and heave my body, then press myself low into the ground, down to clear between the floor cracks.  But –  shy – I don’t want to disrupt the space; for now, the cracks in the floor are what I’ll look into.

Jennifer tells us to actively reflect on experiences we have in each class and how each exercise sits in our bodies. For me, it’s cake to come home to my tiny apartment and jump into digesting and expressing the entirety of my day with and through my body. No judgement or apprehension, just movement or stillness, always with breath. But I never think about that breath. I simply observe its presence, its agency and how it whorls through every part of the body cooing it into movement.

And it dawns on me: It’s the thinking.  So much thinking!  For such a fluid perspective on the body, this class is cerebral, intellectually demanding. Thinking “whole” works for me, but it appears there’s something to be said for slowing and focussing our minds into singular aspects of our bodies.

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INTERDISCIPLINARY WORKSHOP FOR POP-UP PERFORMANCE

Since July I’ve been beside myself waiting to attend this class, and I thought I’d nearly piss my pants in excitement when we finally actually sit in a circle and are introduced to the artists.

Then we go directly into our tasks, which I love.  (Every class, we jump right into it. The whole day is on the ball. Awesome.  Does anyone like their time wasted? I carry a list of to-dos in my brain in case the staleness of the city is just too much.  No lists needed here, however). There’s a catalytic sense of curiosity shared.  Participants, teachers both – all super-engaged, instant creativity and ideas.

The task is a simple half hour walk outdoors in silence, straying no farther than 15 feet from another group member, recording  (in mind, on paper, by photo, or video) what you notice:  sounds, words, people, characters, tones, pitches, conversations etc. On return, direct entry into performance, finding a beginning, middle and end.  The curiosity I feel outdoors flows into my performance experience:  Everything is stimulus.  I’m taking things in, taking on what others are doing.

 

Out walking, we’d all logged so many details that now, in performance, we seldom develop one thing, but rather, we jump in and out of phrases, people, animals, or sounds sporadically.   At one point in the improv, I sit on a bench, and a girl flies over as a bird.  I   remember watching a seagull swoop down at a crow above me.  In their aggression, the two birds danced in a graceful mirrored movement.  I jump right in, flying off the bench, screeching my warrior gull noise, but by the time I swoop my wings down, she has turned into something else.  I feel pretty silly, a bird wooshing down to attack what had turned into… a post?    Anyway.  No beginning, middle or end accomplished.  Afterward, in small groups, we build one minute performances from the previous group performance.  It’s day one.  Everyone is still timid. Instructions feel vague. I like vagueness and enjoy going for the throat in performance, but I’m not so sure the group shares this approach to art practice with me.

It’s amazing how much can happen when a group has good chemistry, which depends on the attitude of all.  And the WOW workshop nailed this.  Jennifer brings a keen and kind focus, really giving everything. It’s impossible not to give right back to her. Each class embodied this enthusiasm and focus Jennifer and the other artists offer – a stimulating environment.  So, while I may not be getting my “crazy” out this week, the group has a wonderful openness; many exciting surprises and discoveries no doubt lie ahead.

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YOGA

I don’t have much to say about yoga. OK, I’ll say this: it’s Hatha, you breathe; it’s the slowest yoga I’ve ever done.  A good way to wrap up the day I suppose, thinking about the breath… again.  And I suppose it makes sense, this whole breathing thing, doesn’t it?  And if I can feel the organ that is my skin, I suppose I can feel the rest of the organs pumping, pushing, bending, contracting inside of myself, right?

Onward to day 2.

TUESDAY AUGUST 19

As Ashley Johnson put it in her 2013 WOW journal,

Today was a good day. An over-the-hump day, which always seems to be a haze of confusion mixed with exhaustion“.

…Okay, more.

EXPERIENTIAL ANATOMY

Class goes by so quickly. I need to sink myself into these exercises, to pursue them on my own.  Biking home after class, I practice the breathing technique we learned, and have to get off and run to the bushes in nausea!  Later, spending more time at home with the exercises helps me find the space inside my body, and I have an amazing experience seeing the tissue between my ribcage.

Today class again begins in a circle, connecting through talk about our various anatomical explorations.  Explaining my experience takes a few minutes, and I wonder if my detailed expression of my experience will be seen as self indulgent.  But everyone is attentive and respectful. I’ve forgotten how much this is an experiential research-based pursuit. It’s about having an experience and comparing notes afterward, guiding and supporting one other as we reach into our storied bodies.

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Hands-on work is a serious and focused practice. Jennifer constantly reminds us to check in with ourselves and each other. No one is obligated to participate. Though I’ve never felt resistance to this work in myself, her continual reminder to check-in supports feeling safe in such a large space with a group of strangers. We discuss exploration; how staying curious and attentive is more productive than questioning yourself.  And, though I don’t yet know it, I’d say this is where my climb over “the hump” begins.

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We work with the torso. Examining a diagram of the organs, we find the one we feel we want to work with, then work in partners. Lying on our sides our partner places their hand on the area of our organ, trying to find it and hold it like a tomato.

For some reason, the spleen interests me.  There are those spaces in your body that you at once can and cannot feel,.  As if you know there’s blockage that could be rubbed gently away …whether true or imagined.

Finding the organ is a funny process. I feel that I never have it when I have to think about it, but whenever I think into my own organ, my hand finds the right spot on my partner.  Once we find the organ, we breathe into this space, and vocalize sounds through a vowel.  The goal is to find the vibration of our organ, a combination of pitch and vowel that will make it move.  I find this very difficult to do myself, and more productive to have my hand on my partner’s organ to get an understanding of what’s happening inside the body.

The whole body vibrates from making sound in general. It takes awhile for me to identify the difference between an organ vibrating and the movement of air through us. My partner can feel my organ move (and definitely helps guide me in a direction to keep working on my own).  But I have to say I can’t feel anything moving, only the vibration in my throat. But finally it happens. About two inches below my hand, I feel movement like a small quivering child. Closing my eyes I can even feel its’ buoyancy. At one point, I take my hand back to look at my palm, but nothing is there.

After each stage of the exercise, we chat with partners about it (so important), then walk around the room noting any changes. I don’t expect to feel anything different, since I don’t notice a whole lot during most exercises.  But a few times, I stand up and feel a whoosh of someone I’ve never met before – it’s as if I’ve smothered a part of myself for years and she finally surfaces to catch a breath.  And it’s now that I know that I am on an internal hike and will be for awhile, only just beginning to feel the incline.

To my relief, class is over. Lots to continue researching on my own at home.  (Though, come to think of it, a straight hour of humming out eeee, ooooo, ahhhh may well drive my apartment-mates mad…) Practicing does help me understand what I am doing. I find I can go more directly into the work, and it helps me come out of my shell more when working in a group of people. Turning this confusion/frustration into curiosity helps. Confusion can be a productive catalyst.

 

INTERDIZ WORKSHOP ON POP-UP PERFORMANCE

Marcus Youssef launches a game to bring us back into the workspace from lunch and we shed some nervous energy.  We listen to a piece of music composed by Stefan Smulovitz.

Now, working in groups, we’re to create a one minute piece to present with Stefan’s music. Our group quickly finds a common thread of interest, and begins a piece, primarily movement-based, then we create vocal sound alongside the musical composition, eventually using text a group member has written.  Then we show our works.

All are movement-based – a tendency to very similar movement. I discover I’m uncomfortable watching all the touching and wonder if my discomfort is affecting others.  Respect for individual comfort levels is firmly established in hands-on work.  Interdiz is different.

I’m now about 2/3rds of the way through this “hump”.

Following performance, each workshop artist discusses our piece in terms of their respective practices (dance, theatre, sound, video) giving us an interdisciplinary basis with which to return and make the piece again. Now we begin to try and create.

It’s the mid-afternoon lull; the room grows tired and edgy.  I begin to feel that people aren’t being respectful enough of others. I’ve been learning to recognize when I feel this and to adopt a neutral state, but it’s a practice makes perfect thing.  In making work, people often derive meaning/connection from the personal – then the work becomes about that individual and their ideas. It’s something one just has to swallow (no regurgitating) in collaboration.  Sometimes your ideas are heard, other times not. Period.

My strategies for remaining present and open aren’t working. Maybe not participating means I’m giving it insufficient chance – but it‘s important to know your limits and sensitivities. So I excuse myself.  I refocus. I remember that I’m here to learn; that the intensity I feel is unnecessary and inhibits exploration. I return.  Observing now, I notice that the piece they create is dynamic and solid.

I often experience this ugly duckling role in a group, but I’m working on it.  Today in class  Jennifer said that people who live in their organs take up more physical space.  Hmmm.  I think  living in my disposition takes up some unwanted extra space in the room, too.

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Today was tumultuous, the resulting self examination, demanding. The space felt unwelcoming to me, and I’m uncertain that tomorrow it will feel good to return to. These workshop leaders have so much to offer (including patience that extended beyond that of the entire group of us combined.)  I reflect on Jennifer’s continual checking in re: the hands-on, and how much more possible I find it to express myself rationally, clearly and with kindness, under the conditions she sets up.

I deeply feel the necessity of discussing how to share ideas.

YOGA:

Well, a turnaround on the yoga front! Faster today, transitions flow better, things make more sense for me.

Jennifer uses chanting in her yoga. Thankfully, she smiling with ease, reminding us again that anything that we don’t want to do, we don’t have to.  And I don’t chant. Sometimes all it takes is total acceptance of a person for them to try something they’d otherwise resist.  As class progresses, I at one point put my shoulder above my head.  It’s as if a little piece of hair catches inside of my chest, pulls from the sides of my rib cage, up my sternum and out of my throat. Tears spring instantly to my eyes as I experience a release of some kind.

I have reached the top of “the hump”.

We stand to do some balancing poses and I feel a clearing. It is as though I’d dropped down into a space in my body I’d floated away from.  I am wiped, but I leave with a gigantic grin on my face (storing a little confusion in my cheeks for later, of course).

Day 3, here we go…!

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 20

Much internal discovery today – difficult to describe.   I’ll write what I can…

EXPERIENTIAL ANATOMY:

All day, I’m uncomfortable whenever I try to sit in a position I normally take. I keep having to shift my torso, then my legs are too pinched to my belly, then my knees feel like two stumps all clogged up.  Finally, my shoulder does something cool and funny and rolls backwards on its own without my thinking about it.  And a few times, a place in my body punches me from inside; not painful, more like a big “HELLO!” followed usually by a feeling of expansion –  a wiggly feeling – and I get the giggles. bad. As the feeling subsides, so does my laughter.

Little wonder emotional regulation is hard for many of us. We’re taught not to even bring into our awareness the places where these emotions manifest themselves.  Going inside has allowed me better understanding of little pockets of emotion. For the first time, they truly pass through my body with ease – they don’t get stuck along the way.  Put another way, I don’t hold onto them and tell myself a story that isn’t true. Then comes release.  When my internal body experiences release, there is internal growth. And I mean literally— or at least it feels that way.

All my life I’ve tried to understand myself through the external. In the study of experiential anatomy I am meeting my internal self for the first time.  It’s something new, and feels as though there is a slow folding over.  And now I know that I’ve started something that I can’t stop.

INTERDIZ:

Soundwork with Viviane is AWESOME. We pass noises around the circle – building from singular “mmm” or “zzz” to a made-up language that rapidly falls into narratives.  Much hilarity, and it feels good to let out some sound.

Next we make a soundscape, with three options:

1. Join in with any sound you hear (“join” is up for interpretation)

2. Make up a sound of your own that you don’t hear

3. Just listen, deeply.

Besides reading, soundscapes are my favourite pastime, so I choose #3.  And wow…. Listening for the next ten minutes, I am lost in total joy. The energy, the sound environments created!  People making sounds with their arms, feet, mouths, building to a final crescendo, then trickling into total silence.  I wish we could do it again.

Group chemistry is key to a workshop’s success – I believe that with mutual respect people can work together despite differences that come up.  Thankfully, today everyone has that going on and no one hits the mid-afternoon lull.

OK I know it’s a workshop on pop-up performance, but moving from process into goal-driven performance feels so rushed and forced.  I lose the explorative spark; all those compelling, wonderful tools I’ve just been handed seem to fall away. Wrapping up the day with “performance” depletes me.  We end abruptly with sort of applause, and I wish I could come for the process and just skip performance.

I know I need to distinguish between what isn’t working for me and attitudes I bring. In fact, Experiential Anatomy has really taken over my interest and energy this week, and I’m less present for the Interdiz workshop – just a reality, I guess…it’s possible to have one class that gets under the skin…(ha.ha.ha. aiy, bad joke).

One student reports experiencing nausea at times over the course of the day, but Jennifer reassures her – it’s just part of the internal exploration.  I beam inwardly.  I’ve certainly never been this happy before on a journey that makes me nauseous.

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THURSDAY AUGUST 21

EXPERIENTIAL ANATOMY:

I find the usual opening of class with reflective research discussion, hearing other people’s experiences, very helpful. Though we go to the same areas of the body, we can explore wherever the experience takes us, Jennifer reminds us. There is no “right” way.  This research and practice begins to change you and your everyday routines, patterns and emotionality.

The work, she says, can feel like magic and we can begin to question ourselves, “Did I really go to my pancreas?  I must just have an overzealous imagination.” etc. This type of questioning began for me on the brink of day 3. I was getting so much information ( beyond the actively engaged research work via classroom exercises, information is still being gathered even while sleeping).  I thought I might be crazy – and the moment I started giving in to self-critical thoughts, I became unable to drop into my organs and my research.

Jumping into an exercise without a partner, Jennifer narrated, guiding us around parts of our organs, reminding us it’s okay to go where we want, or to stay, if she’s moving on. I found myself going in and out of my body, sometimes present with it, sometimes not (that critical brain).

And then we got to the liver. I felt it, and began swooping around it in a figure 8 pattern, slowly looking for my gallbladder, but couldn’t find it anywhere– and I really, REALLY want to find this organ. Moving into the pancreas, the organ where we store “big” emotions like anger, exuberance, excitement, nervousness, a few of us felt the same sensation that we get before a performance.  But then we moved upwards, up up –  near the spleen (where I’m always laughing for some reason), then to the heart.

I have NO idea what happened in the classroom after that, or for how long. But I had a terrifying experience (terrifying being alarming yet terrific,not to be confused with horror). I’ll try and explain: every once in awhile throughout the week, my insides will unexpectedly do a little jump. It’s not painful, just surprising. It’s happened more subtly when dropping into my organs, too,. However, when we reached the heart… I entered into a visualization, (but I didn’t know it at the time).

Bending around a dark, shadowed corner, I was tiptoeing up to the heart, but as I rounded the bend, it was right there and I touched it. The organ was cold. I felt nothing but a sharp blade of ice sheer onto my hands, then instantly project me backwards. As I flew off the ledge where I’d been standing, I saw in front of me the wall was a cold white-grey. Further I flew back into the sky and saw that my heart was a massive cliff with sediments of rock linked into one another, the cracks between each piece small caverns with growth that’s trying to reach for the sun. The cracks were so black they looked red, or vice versa, I don’t know. And then I realized I was being shot into the sky, and out out out until the next thing I saw was the room. The experience of my heart had literally sucked me into a deep visualization, only to project me instantly out of my body, back into the room without any transition in between.

How would I describe the feeling that followed? Rattled. Jennifer had taught us a Grotowski technique called the Hunker, where after class we get in a position uncomfortable to hold for too long, then ask ourselves simple questions until we bring ourselves back to the “nuts and bolts” of the day. I felt so far away from the ground –  I couldn’t come back down.  Should I have gone straight into the hunker or what? I’ll be asking in class later today, as taking care of ourselves after these experiences is necessary (I’d use the word requirement, actually). Needless to say, I became resistant with the exercises that followed, not wanting (or needing) to return into my organs for a little while.

So, while these experiences are a bit alarming, I find myself gathering information that is teaching me…. me. That doesn’t make sense, does it? It’s teaching me the parts of myself where I can say, “I know you”. Dah, it’s wildly difficult to articulate the experiences.  It’s like I’m collecting berries inside of myself, slowly picking the bush popping them into my mouth, each one with its own expansion of information. I’ve only eaten about two berries so far, almost done my third– I’d say that’s pretty good. Eating slowly has deeply nourished my body this week, so to speak.

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INTERDIZ:

Finally.  A discussion about collaboration and how that space operates. Each artist leader contributed their knowledge/experience with collaboration and interdisciplinary arts– useful stuff.

 

wow interdiz 2014Workshop leaders (L-R)    Candelario Andrade (video),  Jennifer Mascall (choreography),  Viviane Houle (voice),  Marcus Youssef (theatre),  Stefan Smulovitz (music)

Questions like:

  • How do artists come together to create?
  • How do people find chemistry?
  • How do we begin the creation process?
  • How often do we consider creating as a process?
  • Do we give enough time to that?
  • How do we communicate to each artist across disciplines when co-creating?
  • What are the ways to recognize commonalities between each artist, and pull from this place to create?
  • What happens once the collective is made?  How do we deal with having our ideas added/cut from a piece?
  • How do we remain objective in a collaborative environment, even if our ideas are being taken up?
  • What does it mean to contribute (is a question I wanted to ask, but couldn’t because I was a bit… preoccupied.. I’ll explain in a second).

And so on.

If we’d held this discussion the first day, I think the week would have been more productive, and plan to offer this feedback for future workshops.  However, I noticed people getting tense during the discussion, interjecting their opinions and bordering on the defensive in their excitement to share.

For myself, my body was such being a fidgety schmuck and I could NOT sit still or get comfortable. My body was nothing but a personal distraction.  I just wanted to leave so I could fidget free of concern about disrupting anything or anyone. A few times, I felt my temperature rise until I was sweating– I wanted to jump up and scream HOLY HOLY HOLY MACARONI, WHAT IS GOING ON?! ARE ANY OF YOU FEELING THIS KIND OF DISCOMFORT, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS WEIRD SHIFTING?!?!?!?!?!

But I didn’t.  On the break, I took a nap, in a position I’ve never slept in, and it felt great.  So I missed the performances for this class.  Truthfully, I barely have the energy for the energy/presence this class demands when my body is feeling this way.

YOGA

 For me, Yoga used to be all about muscular/skeletal engagement, nothing about the inside except breath. Now my breath is all hiccoughed and my organs are saying YOU CAN’T BEND THAT WAY ANYMORE, do it this way. Relax into your bend”.   Keeping that self-critical brain at bay was immensely challenging today. But also restorative.

Something cool? I like slow yoga now. There’s one position where we had to bend forward– (I have a crooked back that hunches over to shelter my heart, and my hamstrings are tight, so this pose is generally pretty nasty on me) and Jennifer said, “relax your intestines. Relax them even more. Even more”. and I started to feel the natural bend in my body, one of comfort and a small release in my back. I wanted to hold this position forever until my back lengthened out straight and my belly rested on my thighs.

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But I think that’s still a while away.

While I’m struggling to get into it, yoga has really helped ground my understanding of the day, and provides a solid foundation to stand on before stepping into the evening.

And sadly, onwards to the final day… While each class has felt like a week, I don’t want it to end. Well.. I do, but I don’t. and it won’t… if you know what I mean… We can’t undo the learning of information..once it’s there, it’s there. 

FRIDAY AUGUST 22

WOW, am I ever sad it’s over, what a frustratingly incredible week shared with some fantastic people.

EXPERIENTIAL ANATOMY

 I was a bit late for class, and unfocussed from tending to life. Today we could use the class-time to work on anything we desired to explore from the past week, or to go somewhere new in the body.  Jennifer went around checking in and guiding everyone and answering any of our questions. Luckily I was able to dive into some anatomy books that were brought it, while everyone else did their thing.

Looking at the anatomy, I thought about somatizations, and about exploring the body using our cortical knowledge, as the tour guide for your internal exploration. I spent some time checking out the heart. I’d brought up yesterday’s experience with the class, and asked what I should do when something unsettling comes up.  The answer was to find out what areas of the body are supporting the sensitive part. Once we find the supporting areas/organs and focus our attention here, eventually the stiff area will open up.

A few statements have stood out for me:

  • In our research, we explore our organs because they are there to activate, and for us to access if we ever need them.  We learn to use these parts of our bodies, instead of them using us (like our adrenals for example).
  •  It’s important to express whatever when going into endocrine glands.
  •  This is a search for knowing.
  •  You will change. Your habits, your patterns, and your emotions will change. Stick with it.

…sounds like life, a little.

INTERDIZ:

Today I finally found the space of “I’m exploring!”. .  I was pretty shy moving in a group of dancers – yet in moments of our little performance I felt the movement come from inside of me. Collapsing at my centre, I could feel the fold inside and a wave pulling me back up, jutting my hands outward then swooping them down. Liberated and free.

I don’t have to be a dancer to devise movement. My organs already devise it for me!  From her choreographic perspective, Jennifer says that when we enter a group of people, even if they’re strangers we can begin to build the choreography because we already do it naturally. The natural inclination to mirror someone if you’re engaged in conversation or physically aware of them, the distance if it’s not working, if everyone has high energy and hops a little etc. This was a great point, and it helped.

In our final discussion circle, many brought up the difficulties of working together and all of the leaders asked, Why didn’t you say so?! The answer, I think, is that none of us knew how to approach the leaders to say this.  Lacking an alternative approach to offer up, we all thought we’d sound like we had attitude, or disliked our group.  The thing is, regardless of this, all week, we all somehow put something together and each piece had flashes of moments that could be developed further.

This has been a great learning curve: devising approaches, strategies for overcoming creative obstacles, how to converse with interdisciplinary artists and some of the challenges of making interdisciplinary pieces.

We learned from each artist’s personal experience of working collaboratively with artists in other media, which is invaluable – as we emerging artists begin to take bigger steps forward with our practice.

Overall, I think the workshop was a successful first run. Vast amounts of information were shared.  I’m so appreciative of both teachers and students energies and sharing knowledge and talents.   Many of us swapped info at the end, which is great– whether to potentially work together, go see some art shows together, support one another’s art shows, or just chat– those connections go right to the crux in a collaborative workshop setting– gotta find the like-minded artists out there!

YOGA

Sad that it was all coming to an end, I found it difficult to get into yoga.  A forward bend near the end of class, felt really good – just to sit there and relax my intestines. It takes a lot to relax a forest (the intestines) but once I did, I could feel the ease in my back as it slowly opened up more, and felt my body seep lower.

Then class was over.

Bend-Pose

EPILOGUE

This week has been magic.

I’ve never been in an environment with such keen energy and passion for the performance arts. Beyond all of the knowledge, skills, and connections I’ve made, what I will take and hold it directly against my heart to warm it, was the support.  Every day I observed and experienced small acts of kindness and compassion, and saw those actions sprout inside of people, shifting perspectives. It’s remarkable, really, and even though I stuck relatively to my introverted self… people were still there for me from afar and subtly made it known.  No need to be over the top about our care, it just was.

A mean at the end is a WOW tradition, and we went out for Indian food at a restaurant down the road. Chatting about everything and anything, we all compared our qualms about the interdiz workshop in good humour (everyone felt the exact same way, hilarious to discover and talk about).  We talked art, funding and life. It was a perfectly warm wrap up to the week, and home I went – full belly, some leftovers, good hugs, see you again soon’s, to THE BEST sleep I’ve had all summer. I mean the best.

And MAN! were my organs ever alive during the evening, moving all around in there, doing little organ “hello!” punches.

I feel centered, my place in the world palpable.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 MascallDance thanks Mallory for sharing her reflections on TALK. 

You can find more of Mallory’s writing here. http://malamirault.wix.com/startrevolt#!Interdisciplinary-Arts-Way-Out-West/c1nv0/2E53C659-C11D-409B-A656-AA37AE95646

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