the process . august / by james gnam

Written by Rachel Silver

 

It feels a bit strange that today is Sunday. Since our residency is twelve days straight, days of the week have lost significance. It could just as easily be Monday or Thursday. 

Today we started with a curated warm-up. James talked us through a series of tasks which we execute for around 25 minutes. It involves a “tiny dance” on our own that evolves into a mirrored duet with a partner, then becomes a group dance responding and adjusting to each other, and descends back into duets. When all of this is finished, we are warm and loose, and James decides this is our new warm-up. He is satisfied with many of the moments that occurred around the space; the tasks created what he deemed “an estuary of creative activity”.

Next we moved into the “stampede” dance that we found yesterday. Slowly, things are beginning to have a lineage or a structure in the work. Certain parts naturally follow each other, and the energy shifts seem to dictate what we do next. The start of this section has eight dancers on a small square patch of grass, named (and I missed why) “the grassy knoll”. When the dance starts, there are only minor shifts in weight and pelvises. 

Slowly we begin to share weight through hands, arms, and pelvises. We are like one organism, buttressing our limbs into space while attached to each other. When someone touches you, there is a moment where you can say “yes” and give them weight, or “no” and not respond. When we are in this weight-hand-supporting dance, the shifts in other bodies affect us and dictate the next shift. This sounds complex, but really it is simple. It is a matter of proposing connections with other bodies, and responding to propositions.