Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Unexpected: Weeks Three and Four

Oh my, how time flies when holidays happen! I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. I seemed to embrace the festivities a bit too much (how delicious!) and have gotten behind in blogging about our process.

Well, week three went much better than week two at least in terms of my brain not exploding. The ensemble did composition work creating small performances quickly, we talked about the inevitability of death and Maira Kalman’s ability to make seemingly insignificant just as important and all intertwined with the inevitability of death. Life continues on, so it seems.

We cut loose a bit and went on a field trip to the MCA and out for beers afterword. The artwork, space and visitors to the MCA gave us a lot to talk about. Changing pace a bit (and adding beerin a loud pub) enlivened our discussions about our own project. Sometimes it’s so good to mix it up a bit.

Because we had less time working out ideas on our feet I decided to give the group some homework. We also all really liked some of the writing that came out of out workshop with Erika, so I wanted to continue with everyone riffing on chapters and ideas from the book to see where that would take us. My plan was for the homework to give a solid base to move forward
with our in-session compositions. But just because I have a plan, it doesn’t mean that’s how things are going to work out.

As often with devised work, the unexpected leads to new and wonderful things. As hard as I try to keep things organized and on schedule, things pop up that HAVE to be dealt with and worked into the schedule. It is both the blessing and curse of devised work because it can be an endless cycle if you are always following a good idea that sparks up but it can also lead the group to clarity and togetherness in a way that could never be planned. Humph. What a conundrum.

I've tried to account for a certain amount of this in our current process, but honestly, I'm not sure if I've failed at my initial vision for this laboratory phase or have made a wiser decision to move forward in a new way. I won’t go much in to it, but let me tell you, these homework projects were fantastic. I’ll leave it there for now, but in a couple of days I’ll tell you all about how we are
moving forward and what happened in week five.