Joe Moran First Rehearsal for The Body

Joe Moran First Rehearsal for The Body

Seraina Dejaco is one of nine participants for Joe Moran's installation piece The Body. Here she talks about the first rehearsal in preparation for the showcase at Nottingham Contemporary this weekend...

It’s a calm and welcoming atmosphere when we arrive, and Joe breaks the ice with a story about his bandaged glasses! You’d have to ask him…

We introduce ourselves briefly to explain what personal interests brought us here.

After arriving straight from work, I appreciate and enjoy the gentle warm up, working through specific body parts and body connections, shifting my awareness to focus on my body. The movements find their own rhythm and get bigger, more connected to the space and the other dancers around me. I enjoy being still and listening to the rhythm of the space around me.

We all come together to play the game “I heard someone say”:

I heard someone say "I don’t remember any faces."

I heard someone say "1h and 40 min?"

I heard someone say "I’m glad to be here."

Joe introduces us to the dancer and choreographer Deborah Hay whose work and theories he finds influential. He talks about how she uses ‘tricks’ in the form of hypothetical ‘What if’ questions in order to awake the body and move with a different awareness. Joe imitates Hay in a comical manner in order to underline the sense of light-heartedness that Hay uses when she poses the questions.

Our task is to ask and stay with the following questions and find how we move in response:

  • What if where I am is where I need to be?
  • What if my whole body is my teacher?

I’m exploring the difference between having the question in mind and actually feeling a response in my body.

We talk how moving with these questions in both mind and body seem to allow us a greater freedom to move with a different lightness. And how they enable us to concentrate on ourselves but also connect with what’s around us. They stop us from always questioning if that what we are doing is right.

The questions seem impossible to answer but the ‘What if’ make them playful, like if we would all agree that we will never get it and therefore we don’t have to get too stressed about it. There is no dogmatic request but instead invitation to allow anything to happen.

We also explore moving with one of Hay’s instructions: Turn your f’ing head! And this once again helps us to move even freer.

The last 12 min we spend on the piece itself.  We start by sitting on chairs along the wall, listening to the spoken text.  Somehow we all start to move as a group. I can feel myself feeling a little confused about the formation of patterns with the chairs. How much do we anticipate the formation and how can we allow the formation to happen more naturally? We always bring an empty chair with us but one time we forget to move the chair and it stands alone at the other end of the studio. We all notice it at the same time.

I leave with a sense that I’m part of a group which I’m beginning to know.

Joe Moran's Arrangement - a weekend of installation and performances opens this weekend, Saturday 8 November, 2 - 6pm and Sunday 9 November, 11am-5pm. The event is free and suitable for all.

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