SPACE PERSPECTIVE

 

The space we choose or the space we are in is a lot related to our behavior, our outlook towards life, body language, even our fashion sense. Space is divided into positive space and negative space, inside and outside, the center and the periphery. It’s all about how we perceive space and how our senses provoke reactions emotions in that particular space through movements.The vision plays a very important role in terms of receiving information. A person with eyes can see things and reach there. On the other hand, for blind person information is understood by receiving in which case, there is no reaching required. They can stay in the center and the information from the periphery will reach them. The eye performs in a short range, mid range and long range.Short range occurs when someone goes through stress or any negative feeling while short-range vision gives him or her comfort and keeping one in a passive mode. It’s blurry and resting but at the same time the center is absent or inactive, unsure what happens, but the balance with the space is disconnected. Exactly how a person feels on stage during a performance when they are stressed. Later when they bow in the end after the performance, you see the presence and you find that person back. It’s because they are absent during the whole performance that it got delivered through the physical state of the body which we call dance.Dancing body requires presence for which the eye establishes a connection with the space and the people around. It’s really important for the eye to perform these tasks with different ranges. Mid range eye is when we stare or focus at the center. The body is still in the periphery during a mid range. What we really looking for here is the body that is in the center. In both short and mid range, the center is absent whereas in the long range, the eye has this ability to bring the center inside our bodies or revolving around our bodies. Long range is not looking far but to rest the eye in the space where all the information can be received or observed like the person without an eye. The eye is close to the brain, which is why it’s been difficult to bring the bodies between the eye and the brain, whereas a training like Martial Arts, demands presence otherwise they either get hit by someone or something. Also, in Rock Climbing Training where as soon as someone looses the connection physically or the presence they are not able to climb or complete the task. As a movement research it’s interesting to watch sports, understand space and the behavior of bodies in space. Like in football, it’s the body, which leads, it’s the feeling, which gives information, and it’s the impulse which makes them move and the rhythm which gives them capacity to play for hours and hours. Is it possible to work with the eye, work with ranges, train our senses and through this method to understand our movement expression and language? Every action of our body is a reaction of what happens in the space. But the space is actually inside us, which we can move and this capacity is coming from a strong place we achieve during the practice of working with the center and the space.When we move we move the space, the eye has a capacity to shake things around. When we spin and stop suddenly you feel the movement of the space. It’s the eye, which does this action, which is expressed physically. The movement, which happens inside and outside, has to be balanced through the placement of the eye and working through the space. 

 

DEALING WITH THE PHYSICAL STATE

 

Physically our body performs different states, which is much related to the emotions we go through in a certain situation. Physical training describes flow and simplicity in each and every action. It speaks about the choices and decisions we make, which makes us move.An exit makes us analyze and a pause finds us stillness. There is never an entry only exit. Exiting space creates more possibilities than entering into a space. Entering into the space is already speaking what is supposed to happen and expected rather then creating an unknown area. A process normally starts with explaining the situation, ideas as well as questions that is bothering us and expecting results. Identifying our physical state, categorizing it like how we categorize an object eg. Water, a liquid state and rock, a solid state. By identifying states through physical action, bodies perform flow, exit and pause like water.Consider entering into the space starts with expectation, an idea that doesn’t go with the situation. A feeling of being watched or thinking about requirements to fit into the situation arises. The body feels a disconnection and starts to perform in rigidity like a solidDuring the process we were informed about different physical states and movements that are expected in different tasks and methods. Taking information and using it as a tool to create methods in order to let the body go through different physical states like a warm up we do before class, understanding and changing in order to fit into the situation by really being aware of the situation. The mind gets preoccupied and expresses disconnection through mental states that get translated into our bodies and hence performs absence. Absence is still a quality received in a form of stress or aggression and hence the solid state is defined. A reaction is described as positive or negative based on one’s own idea but it’s a language that the body considers to be expressed based on behaviors that we learnt or accumulated through out our lives that decide, what is good or bad.We used water as a metaphor in order to explain the physical state of a body to describe flow or fluidity. When you fill a cup with water it actually fills completely and fills even more due to the surface tension of the body which has the capacity of dealing with the necessary situation and sometimes even more than the actual requirement only due to the involvement of emotion and spirit.Rock was used as a metaphor to understand the physical state of body to describe solid or rigidity. It maybe due to stress, exhaustion or a blind spot. Due to accumulated information gathered inside our bodies, as soon as the mind enters, the body exits. Absence in a physical level where mind is taking over and making decisions or even just an involvement brings about absence in the physical state which is referred to as the solid state.We explore flow through contact and improvisations by working with the eye, engaging senses, mainly touch and vision. Understanding through the mind and feeling through touch, reaction gets captured through visual observation and verbal communication. Touch is magnetic in nature that stays connected and finds it flow and easily deactivates the mind and stays in the body. The flow of the body is moving and transferring through different emotional states at a very physical level whereas in an improvisational task eye takes over. The eye has the ability to see something and settle due to the thought process. When the eye stops, the body stops, when the eye moves, the body moves. 

 

METHODS AND OBSERVATION THROUGH PRACTICE

 

The process started with inventing methods and recreating incidents through specific tasks. Lets say the practice is to play a game, which we have played in the past. Recollecting incidents, performing it in the real time and expecting results of actions by following the idea of flow, exit and pause. What happens when we play an old game, do we play it differently or in the same way?When we have a very specific task and we need to push our boundaries and our intensions to make something happen, how far we can go? In these situations when things don’t happen according to what is expected or the moment of being watched from an outside eye or the spontaneous reaction, which is expressed through emotions, is quite stressful. What happens when we realize or accept the fact that we are being watched and being spontaneous includes the feeling of stress, accepting to give quality and letting it happen. Absence in space means not being spontaneous with the situation that already exists at this moment.

 

WORKING METHOD

 

The work is based on physical as well as ideological exploration of fighting situations, confrontation between two bodies. Two people and two forces.

 

BODY PREPARATION

 

Basic exercises from Kung Fu, Karate and Kalaripayattu (mostly focusing on training reflex, speed, different qualities of movement, concentration and coordination) - Intensive body work: yoga, breathing exercises including pranayama - Working on the mobility of the spine, exercises based on Axis Syllabus and Feldenkrais methods.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PHYSICAL TASKS DURING OUR FIRST RESIDENCY

 

MARTIAL ART TRAINING

 

We were working on physical tasks and exercises that are based on techniques used in martial arts. During the process we were also composing improvised fighting sequences that were the combination of forms used in partnering and Contact Improvisation. Nevertheless it was all our creative work and exploration. One of the exercises that had the biggest impact on our understanding of fighting situation was about creating a situation in which one person is limited in the movement but still trying to escape from attack. The task was very physical because attacking person had to create almost maximum limitation. This situation was a starting point of fighting, arriving in the moment where there is no more freedom to move. Used force and limitation are evoking the physical and mental reaction. Dancers who are fighting in couples are going through different stages of feelings and emotions; often they have to face their own borders. It is a very rich and deep experience and getting even more intensive when partners are trying to escape from each other. Exploring physical reaction in a situation where people are getting close on the fighting field is raising lots of question that appear in mind: Am I enjoying being close before a fight, what exactly do I feel? Where are my borders/limits? When and why do I want to escape or when and why am I enjoying fighting the most? Why am I curious about the next move even though it seems to be difficult to defend or attack? We physically induced situations in which we experienced the real necessity for defense. The moment of not having another chance but to fight has been created for example by lying under several persons who don’t let you move. This specific physical state evokes a strong emotion, which makes you panic and concentrate all your energy to the single goal to escape, or as another reaction to attack. While experimenting the overload of a body with physical manipulations we experience the state of the “mindless” body. We also asked for the situations in which we fight. In which relation the fighters stand to each other, which physicality do they use? Is the voice a fighting instrument? By practicing voice exercises we found out how to use the strength of the voice and how it can affect the appearance in a fighting situation.Another approach we explored is questioning our awareness: what do we perceive as a fight? How is the body moving so that we call it fighting – maybe also fighting with itself? And finally the question arose: where does the need for attack actually come from? What brings a peaceful person in the state of attacking? Another very interesting aspect of fighting is concentration. Concentrating might be perceived as an action of coming into deep dialogue with your body and mind. Being able to arrive in a different state of mind is helping to be calmer in fighting. Sometimes it feels that the calmer your mind is, the more alert your body becomes. In a dangerous situation we tend to wake up senses very fast. Another exercise that is worth to mention was helping the dancers to reach a deeper state of sensation and awakening senses. Dancers were working in couples where one person was a leader and another had to follow the instructions and were given directions of movement with closed eyes. That helps to develop trust or experience the lack of trust, to become more alert. Bringing another person into “unsure” is the most efficient way to awake the senses. The last exercise I want to describe shortly has a lot of potential to be interpreted and explore in a different context. It might even explain the social aspects of a fighting situation.Dancers were standing in front of each other on a distance and were slowly moving to each other. From the moment they got closer, they were coming into “hug”. In the “hug” one person always tried to stop another, create limits, even to be annoying so that the other person was truly wishing to escape. That exercise was very physical and intensive, sometimes evoking states of aggression or fear. This fight was turning into longer improvisation that was developing into different directions. It was travelling between the moments of high physical intensity through softer dance. Such improvisation is like a constant dialogue. It might be a nice picture/metaphor of the situations when people somehow cope with each other. It is beautiful to observe that in dance. From my point of view dance is just reflecting us... How wedeal, how we are in dance or in a fight usually tells a lot about how we are in everyday life but also it is interesting to play with it! During the process we were also discussing a lot about different states of body and mind in the moment of confrontation. We were mostly trying to understand the reasons of a fight, the way of behaving in a fight, some reactions in the body (conscious and unconscious) emotions that appear, reaching the state of calmness, acknowledging the power.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Play Practice is an ongoing movement research, which is developed over the period of time with new and deeper information. This research needs more input through understanding different methods through working with various people under different disciplines, its about creating a language which can speak universally through sharing knowledge in different perspective and understanding through various fields and deeper understanding. This research needs platform in order to develop further and become the language of expression and communication in a deeper level through understanding working with senses, awareness of relativity with time and space, result of action and the necessary output. 

cCONTENTS

 

  • INTRODUCTION

  • METHODOLOGY

  • DISCUSSIONS AND REFERENCES 

  • TIME PERSPECTIVE

  • SPACE PERSPECTIVE

  • DEALING WITH THE PHYSICAL STATE

  • METHODS AND OBSERVATION THROUGH PRACTICE

  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PHYSICAL TASKS DURING OUR FIRST RESIDENCY

​​INTRODUCTION

 

Play Practice is about senses and its relations with early life and memories, the experience in daily life and projection towards the outer space through our expression towards social life and culture. The practice is about identifying our way of expressing certain situations like a moment of confrontation, dealing and accepting and mainly reacting. Inventing a score to create an incident and letting the body react and flowing the mind and vice versa. Using sense organs as a tool to provoke emotions created through incidents. Identifying the space filled with accumulated information collected through the course of lifetime, replaying an incident and feeling the changes.The challenge is to see the possibility of changing the past by playing the present moment, because past is just an information or idea which exists inside us in the present moment.We experience reactions through various tasks and scores, to disengage the mind from the body and observing its reaction, recollecting or replaying the incident and to identify it with a new perspective. The new is nothing but a combination of various memories played in different time and space, which is changing and passing every moment. Bringing the feeling and letting the body occupy and transfer, letting it pass in order to give space for the next incident. Running from incident to incident, going through different emotional state, identifying the presence and absence, and identifying the state of mind and body through these different emotional states. Giving life to movement by letting the body go through different emotional state.

METHODOLOGY

Play Practice residency started as a result of 5 yearlong researches in various residencies. The research investigates how the physical experience of daily life and our bodily projection into space play a role in social life and culture. The practice aims to detect the way of expressing certain situations: the moment of confrontation, of dealing and accepting and mainly the moment of reacting.Using a score an ‘incident’ is created to let the body react before the mind and the other way around. The senses are used as a tool to provoke emotions generated through these incidents. Using various tasks mind and body are disengaged while incidents are recollected or replayed and new perspectives are identified: letting the body occupy and transfer, letting go in order to give space to the next incident, running from incident to incident, going through different emotional states, identifying presence and absence, recognizing the state of mind and body in different emotional states, giving life to movement by letting the body go through distinctive emotions.The past is contained as information and ideas that exist inside us at the very present moment. The space we inhabit is filled with accumulated information collected through life. The repeated incidents make this information tangible and show the possibility of changing the past by repeating the present moment. The new is nothing but a combination of various memories played in different time and space layers that are changing and passing by every moment.

 

DISCUSSIONS AND REFERENCES

 

To give yourself a task when the reaction is spontaneous, identifying your emotional state through accepting and letting it take place.
Rather than giving up and staying especially when you don't know how to react or achieve. When there is pressure, its difficult to make a decision, which leads to stress, a moment of blind spot through restrictive thoughts, which is expressed through the body, which chooses emptiness, not deciding or making decisions not to decide, not being able to decide or disconnecting from choices, the moment or feeling of, in between space.
Hesitation in action, not taking risk or chance, making pauses, wanting to be clear but not sure about a certain action, finding ways to create something new or difficult, struggling for realization, realizing capacities but facing conflict between capacities.Not completing the task or not being clear with the result of action, finding flow through different levels, reaching the state with multiple layers of making decision. Reacting to certain moments but not finishing, choices of direction, following and changing, reacting to people around, being ambiguous in behavior towards other people. Trying to express but being unsure about what is actually needed and what is the desired output. Getting into the idea of how it should look like or how others see and pursue it.Having so many questions creates hesitation because of the desire of making things happen and being successful.Facing fear means doing it, reacting to the moment. Not reacting is the result of hesitation, creating excuses or running away from the situation, or finding alternative solutions without looking what is going to follow. Accepting the situation can be a way to face the fear itself, being available to the fear and letting it pass. Give time for feelings to pass by actually taking action. Non-clarity is created by the conscious mind with a vague idea of what is necessary for the later. Consciously we look for information, like a form to create, eyes to see and imitate, smell and touch to provoke feelings and the want to know what will happen next. This creates confusion, fear, blurriness, unclear signals to follow, staying in the comfort zone, thinking, hesitating, making decisions and trying not to make decisions, trying to find the flow, waiting, stopping and starting again, questioning skills, focusing on something else, and then comes the feeling of extension in time. Every moment of questioning and taking actions, feels long only because of the effort we put into thinking and judging and not following our impulse. Stepping into an unknown area with closed eyes by trusting impulse and being comfortable doing it.How can I perform my situation, my feeling, my physical and mental state (active or passive) even fear or hesitation? How can I create space in between imagination and executed action? Why do I need to hesitate, even when things are defined, when its done in front of others, why do I need to make something, a product to fit into a certain frame, why do we think there is no time to express our passive side. Is there something I can learn from fear or are we just busy running away from it and getting into another one. Is there a way to enjoy it instead of running away and using it as a tool to search something inside of us, our burdens from the past? Can I give fear a role to express and asking not to be manipulated from the pressure? Asking it to let it go and let it happen and embrace what’s going to happen next. Is it possible to not feel the fear, notice how far can we overcome this fear and what’s the result of this practice?How do I look like when I am in fear? Why do I hesitate expressing myself to others? How to put words into action? What necessary steps should I take to fight fear and enjoy the results?What am I looking for and how can I take action?There is no right or wrong, no strong, no weak, everything is just is, nothing is quick or slow, and its not necessary for everything to make sense and have meaning. Identify the impulses, for every movement is a project in action. Be playful and surprise yourself. Make choices by moving focus from yourself to space, to atmosphere and surroundings and finding yourself in the center and getting information from the periphery. You define yourself more when you connect to the space, when you let you body take care of you. Stay open minded, you will never see the entire space with your conscious mind, but you can feel parts of it. 

TIME PERSPECTIVE

Is it possible to change the past and the future in a present moment only because the idea of all these past and future lies in the brains, which exist at this very moment? Is it possible to go back in time and change things?The things we always wanted to change from the past, like the mistake we do and realization and then the suffering and an urge to change it or wishing to go back in time and change, well the presence is the reality and also the result of what happened in the early life and what also didn’t happen in the early life. The change happens because you thought about it at a very present moment, when you are aware of it, the experience doesn’t stay as an experience but becomes or changes the way you are, like how you become when the alternative past could have been, hence the past is alternated? Like going back in time and changing it?Simplifying things Observing, study and transform, well the transformation is the result of this self- observation practice. The problem disappears when you look close, what does it mean. How can it disappear? The colors of life lies

in the emotions we go through. Hence the practice is all about reaching to the simplicity of reacting to emotions. Finding simplicity through physical practice? How? Doing nothing? Or reacting naturally? Or exaggerating to become simple through physical practices like yoga? Are practices manipulative? Does it changes to become something we are not or it changes us to become something what we really are? Who identifies? Us? Others? What about the society? Our belief system of right or wrong, living like a frog inside the well believing it’s the whole world, limiting choices through non awareness, seeing and learning things to educate but same time getting stuck in that comfort zone. Isn’t it a slow death?I strongly believe physical practices will either kill you or make you stronger. Strength is something we carry inside us exactly the way we carry stress and trauma. Taking toxins outside the body through practice. Choosing a practice describes the way we live in this society. But what if it’s all subconsciously programmed in our system that we strongly believe that the way we express is the way we want to express. In martial art they train years and years to practice just one punch. Movement wise it’s easy to teach but to reach the perfection takes years. Its just to find one moment of your life which is totally worth going through hell in order to get one fulfilled moment of one perfect punch and that moment is what described as the way of expression. It’s truthful, honest and feeling wise its real. That moment has a history and hard work behind, which is expressed at that particular moment. The practitioners believe its about practicing simplicity its only hard because we have accumulated lot of information throughout our lives which changes the way we are and where we have come from. And practice is going back in time, unlearning things and finding the empty space within us. 

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