Advocating for an All Inclusive Dance Action for everyone

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Urbanshaman On The Move 2006 - Guna-Guna


Here are pictures from Urbanshaman On The Move March 2006 featuring the choreography Guna-Guna. The piece was created in the studio at Codarts in the span of 2 months as it moved through 3 phases of exploration and intervention, before we presented it at the hallway of an old church that is used today as an adjoining hall between two blocks for City Apartment in Rotterdam. I had with me 12 great performers. 3 Musicians/vocal and 9 movers. They shared and inspired such powerful spirit to the whole project, and thumbs up especially to the music trio, collaborators, exclusively Michal Ozowski. The venue, hall was chosen because of its strategic existence as it was the remaining structure of the old church tower. It stands to intervene between the two new blocks, as an entrance as well as the exit out between the two blocks.

In the second year of EOC (2005 -2006) - the UrbanShaman on the Move project focused on the importance of developing a group composition that is triggered from the experiences in working in groups for dance. The experiences includes such that arises from human relations in working as a group, as we explore the subject of sovereignity and power.I was interested to observe the process, from the perspective of the different leadership approaches that was used by the dancers to assert ideas as the dancers confronts the issues of power within the choreographic process. As well as at the methods we used to develop the idea, while taking great attention to each dancer's individual feelings and desires, as well as the groups will, emotions, dreams and fears. And at the same time dealing with the groups relation and mentality in their ways of contributing to the idea. My role as the choreograher is to inject an initial entry point into the subject matter while inspiring the dancers to explore. I come in everyday to the rehearsal with specific tasks and direction, and stood ready with my intervention strategies to pick on the moments when the 'power' struggle/communication/conflicts begin to exists in the landscape of their improv. First I interpret those significant moments that i identified as I see it.And then later, I give them time to change my interpretation,into a new pictorial landscape or movement chapter/episode based on another take of the same subject. I empower them to invent an intervention action against my interpretation at their own free will without supressing their own personal impulses.All the different chapters are based on task improvs dealing with thoughts of; are we in control of our own destiny or are we being controlled, and if so who is, what is, how is it being done and what is our response and reaction about it?

My work is to sharpen my skills to create this series of tasks and motivate them towards recognizing immediately the moments they exprerience 'a change' or 'transformation' or what I would like to call the 'experience of omnipotence'.Omnipotence in this context is not asserted by means of delusion. But rather for me this is the moment when the performer is in a living relationship, between the feeling of tingling alive-ness and the magic of being intimate with the moment, a sense of feeling real and of being.Being in control of your own world. "Introjective and projective identifications is taking place in a 'to-and-fro' process between relating to external world and object, and to the internal ones." ... D.W Winnicott in Home is where we start from. This moment when the idea of 'power' surfaces in its truest form within the group as well as the individual dancer, I am there at the very moment analyzing, notating and inventing a storyboard script or score consisting of different chapters of set and structured improvs with composed phrases of movements.

The 3 phases.

The first phase of UrbanShaman; includes working with the individual dancer in their own personal journey and take of power and sovereignity. Recognizing the elements of their metaphoric relation to the symbolism and images of power.With this I introduce different elements and materials that plays important role in my work; ie. food and eating,water and cleansing,and numbers, formulas, objects for mapping the human existence, survival and evolution. And as a group, a new task is given where they interact and redirect themselves in the group category they find themselves spontaneously moving into.Here I have observed how I categorized them in groupings,was coincidentally very much a like the 3 groupings that W.R Bion has made a study on Group Dynamics and Experiences in Groups, The 'fight-flight' group, the pairing group and the dependant group. Our chapters were determined by the grouping of the predator-prey group,the healer and patient pairing, the trinity group and the dependant group.

The second phase of Urbanshaman; the series of improvs are developed into chapters, highlighting the different types of group situations. It is then presented simultaneously with the work from the first 2004-2005 Urbanshaman project, Jadi-Jadian. The objective is to observe how two works from the research, Jadi-Jadian that deals with more of the journey of the internal world - the fantasy or the dream, and Guna-Guna deals with the physical vs phenomena of power in the external world, intervenes with each other.

The subject here is to trigger the chances of chaos, collision through this intervention, that may stimulate the will and impulses of the dancers to make spontaneous 'change' that could enable them to experience a 'transformation'.While journeying fluidly to connect the new chapters created from two separate work, into a larger score.

The third phase involved the process of exploring a chosen site to futher inspire, influence and intervene with the chapters that have been scripted into a score. By which the space of the church - a spiritual power, added more stories and meanings to the score. The score is deconstructed and reconstructed again to include the different stories collected from the relationship with the new space, and the power that exists within its architecture.

The final presentation is a reinvention of Jadi-Jadian to welcome the creation of a structure for Guna-Guna, the second work of the UrbanShaman on the Move. The work was also intervened by the closeness of the audience and their participation in the space and in some sections of the choreography. The final outcome is the process of 'transformation' for the project. Where the change is experienced by all the performers, and the audiences who journeyed through the work and the space and experiencing,i) the performer in their landscape,ii)the performer introducing their world with variants changing the environment of the landscape, and finally iii) the final end outcome when the journey is completed at a different point of the existence of the landscape, completing the choreography.

The third projet of Urbanshaman will focus next on the experience of the audience as an important function to the process. As well as the involvement of the soundscape and visuals used as another level of intervention. By which without them the performance cannot take place. So let's keep our eyes open for new things to come with Urbanshaman on the Move, and if the shaman is willing. God Bless.

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