Without worrying about acting

One week into the new term at LISPA and it’s been fun so far. Up to now we’ve been behaving like young children: playing games, forming clubs, playing at being grown-ups, revealing the rudest word we know. It’s incredibly silly, very tiring and reminds us (OK, me) that we don’t have to be sensible and logical all the time.

Acrobatics is still the bane of my college life; at least this year we get it over with on Mondays. OK, I don’t hate it but it is endlessly frustrating. Over a year on all I can do is a forward roll. And not even a great forward roll. I’ve been attempting hand-stands week after week but may have to admit that, fear of being upside down aside, my shoulders simply aren’t flexible enough to manage it. My arms will not go straight above my head (too many years of sitting at computers?) which means I’d need far more strength and agility than I have to support myself in that position. Still, if nothing else it’s a good work out every week.

This term we have a new class each week: Butoh, a form of modern Japanese dance. I’ve never seen anyone do this and think I might keep it that way until the end of term, so I don’t try to copy what I think it should be like, but here’s a couple of videos that are apparently good stupid. In our first week we’ve had nine hours of Butoh, including extra weekend workshops, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s quite a relief to move without worrying about acting or getting it “right”. And the exercises we’ve done have encouraged everyone to move in ways they don’t usually.

(An aside: After working together for over a year we start to notice each other’s physical habits. So and so always makes an entrance like this; he always demonstrates excitement this way; she never stands still; he holds his hands with his fingers like that. Often these unconscious habits remain even if we think we’re portraying a very different character than usual. So it’s wonderful when one sees a person moving in a manner that’s completely new for them.)

So anyway, yes, Butoh is interesting and I hope it remains so.

This week we’re leaving the being children behind and, I think, move on to the grotesque and parody. Later this week we have to be someone famous — I think it’ll be rather more Spitting Image or South Park in tone, rather than Stars in Their Eyes or Rory Bremner. I’m not sure who to be yet, so any suggestions welcome…


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Monday 14 January 2008, 4:13pm

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14 Jan 2008 at Twitter

  • 9:56pm: Why does music through headphones sound SO MUCH BETTER? Dancing.
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