Tonight’s rehearsal was quite a romp despite time constraints and getting lost inside the UT Football stadium. Misty has joined the team and she’s wonderful. She said, “I’ve always been interested in the Why and How of movement” To which we replied, “well good, that’s whats were doing.”
We developed a new exercise to get dancers used to responding to instruction and the motor controllers used to realizing all of the micro-movements that compose something as simple as putting on a Jacket.
The simple version:
Pair a motor controller to a dancer and put a blind fold on the dancer.
Choose a goal to which the dancer is ignorant (keep it simple, put a shoe on a chair)
Then the dancer can only respond to the instructions of the motor controller hyper literally.
That is, you can’t say “Walk,” but you can say extend right foot, let weight sink into right foot, shift the hip and lift left….
Then try to reach the goal, and switch places so both sides can experience the utter frustration and joy of constructing a sequence of movement. Divorced from the standard vocabulary of movements (stand up, walk, sit down) it becomes quite a complex operation to make someone actually stand up. James took the literal interpretation to the extreme and it took quite a concerted effort to organize a successful stand from a lying down position.
We will remember our cameras next time because the whole process is just too fun not to share.