Tuesday 11th February 2014
Susanne Raven writes ‘The weight of my body characterizes a very concrete and recognisiable physical dinemsion of being a body. As other physical dimensions of my body, its weighted mass presents both openings and constrainsts to my being-in-the-world.’ (Ravn, 2010, 22) I feel like this a clear explanation of what I thought about during this class when I was in contact with others, I was concious of my openings and constraints during our focus on giving and receiving weight.
Waking up the body is an important beginning to every dance/movement class; it allows you to feel what you want to and your mind to be focused on personal bodily movement. Generally I will go into anything with an open mind, however today I was very sceptical. The trust exercises ranged from standing in the middle of a group of people and falling one way allowing someone to take your weight and pass you to someone else whilst your feet are at all times grounded to partner work where we fell back, feet grounded and trusted one person. Up to this point I was fairly comfortable and felt happy with my achievement until we moved onto a whole class trust exercise, shouting “I’m falling” and hoping someone would catch us, this was daunting for me but I did it!
Trust is one thing, but giving your entire weight to someone is something else. We worked the interchangeable role over and under each other, experimenting with weight being transferred with small parts of the body (foot) and larger parts (back). Experimentation for me is a sense of freedom allowing, digestion of information, exploration, play, to enjoy and expansion on individual range within a certain area, in this case giving and receiving weight. The Jam at the end of the class was a perfect opportunity for all of us to become one and play with the basis of weight and expand on what we thought it meant. I didn’t release tension enough in this exercise for me to gain the full experience of transferring and bearing weight however from this I now know what to do for future exploration.
The class to me was about breaking boundaries for ourselves about trust and freeing our bodies of tension. Personally I feel that I need to work on my understanding of where weight can be held on the body of another person and theirs on my body. Taking into consideration the intention and focus of class today I think that opening all my senses to the space around me, not just my eyes, will contribute to myself feeling more trust in the people allowing further exploration with weight bearing. We were left at the end of the class with this in mind, ‘Favour the eyes as a sense. Be able to open the senses of other senses.’ (Silverthorn, 2014)
Ravn, S. (2010) Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. Sensing weight in movement, 2 (1) 21-34.
Silverthorn, T. (2014) The rolling point and the interchangeable role of the under and over dancer [seminar] Contact Improvisation: An Ongoing Research Lab DAN2005M, University of Lincoln, 11 February.