The last session of Can I go solo? on december 17th, will be postponed till january 2016. Please keep an eye on this blog for the exact date and time so i can keep you updated!!
For now; i wish everyone a great holiday and a smashing 2016.
3/10/17 december 13.00-15.30
A new series of three sessions start next week. artists from any discipline (performing ans non-performing) are welcome to join us in the search for balancing the groupwork and solowork within improvisation. What makes us a group, how do we perform as a group, how can i go solo within the group, where is my timing, our energy, how does it flow?
all these questions came up in the previous series. Now we want to continue our work.
if you want to know what happened in the previous sessions, read our summary below
Leave a respons if you want to join in.
“There was a sense of Rebellion”
About Can I go solo?
Three sessions have taken place by now.
In these three sessions we worked with actors, musicians, dancers, visual artists.
A lot of questions arose during the work. We wrote them down to share, but we didn’t try to come to a group answer on them. Everyone found their own answers (or not). The ones i write down here are a combination of our shared observations and my personal thoughts on the subject.
Questions written down were:
Observations on GROUP:
We started our research by doing the same thing all together at the same time. There was no audience, everybody was improvising all the time, the whole time. This lead to the following remarks:
Not copying defines the group, but focusing on the same while doing different things.
A group becomes interesting to watch when you can still see the individuals within the group.
Feeling part of the group came with a feeling of organic mood/rhythm/movement.
There was a sense of rebellion, which leads to making small changes to the given group theme: was this impatience or evolution?
The second and third sessions we worked with a more structured way of improvising. There was audience, and the structure meant we started with an empty space, and one by one we would start improvising, up to a maximum of 4 performers. This way we wanted to create more room, time and space for all the elements we encountered in the first session. It gave us the possibility to observe the process more. These are some observations on those sessions.
What makes us a group? The very fact that we are in this room, concentrating on the same work, makes us a group. But then we find there are groups within groups.
The performers are a group, the visual artists are a group, the audience is a group. You can play with this. You can try to diffuse the boundaries between these sub-groups by not acknowledging the difference. If you consider everyone who is physically present as part of the group, then you create a kind of confusion for everyone about the part their taking in the improvisation (e.g. Is there an audience, when you consider the audience a part of the improvisers?)
TRUST was a word that came up more and more; trusting your group members to focus on the same thing as you. Trusting the each other to follow and lead when it feels necessary. But also trusting yourself to change or alter the improvisations form/energy/etc. When you think it necessary.
It appears that often everyone felt the action needed to change, but no one dared taking charge and break or shift the action. So group ca also mean no one dares to take initiative.
Trusting the group gives a natural rhythm to the improvisation.
Waiting long enough to be/ feel like a group seems to be important.
ADDING and BUILDING and DIVERSIFY:
We defined a difference between the several actions you can take as a group;
You can ADD to one another’s action. Meaning a does something, and B steps in and does something to counter it, or support it or, broaden it.
but you can also BUILD. This would mean, A starts with an action, B steps in and does the same, so does C, D, etc. By committing our self to this one action as a group, we narrow down and intensify the action until a climax is reached, after which something new can start to happen.
DIVERSIFYING would mean that every group member has an individual action, but is still very much aware of the actions of all the other performers. So there is still a group work going on, although it is not immediately clear on sight what the group focus is. It’s just the TRUST between all the group members that our mutual focus will keep us together.
On the matter of SOLO:
Does solo work exist within a group? Or is it merely a continuous shifting of focus, between doing the same thing, to everybody doing something individual to one person doing something different from the rest, with all the group giving their attention?
Also solo moments can work as a tool for changing the group energy ans rhythm. It bends/breaks/shifts the ongoing flow.
Solo can be:
a new starting point
the shifting of focusing
breaking the energy.
In the first session the performing group seemed to be a more dominant subgroup within the group. Fast decision making, feedback, action, leading. Whereas the non-performing artists seemed more observant, following, silent. After talking about this the next session, there was more room for different kind of impulses and initiative. More visual actions, more awareness of space, colour, sound. And a greater sense of freedom by everyone to bring in any impulse or action you wanted. This freedom led to a beautiful series of moments where performance, colour, sound and spacing came together. This freedom seemed to give us more sensitivity for each others’ impulses and more possibilities to explore new grounds.
The last two sessions we have been working on shifting focus in groupwork and solowork. And a lot of new ideas, concepts and questions arose.
We have been focussing on:
It has been an exciting journey up till now. During the last two sessions we found a way to shift from group to one or none, endings becoming new startingpoints, individuals becoming a group, doing the same thing, doing different things but still remaining a group, then becoming a group of soloists, evolving into a solo of blue squares.
Next week we want to go deeper into themes like
waiting/ strechting time/timing. Adding to eachothers ideas/building on eachothers input/taking time and space/giving time and space.
Sounds interesting? Come and join us next week to share our research. Let us know through the posts, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We start at 13.00 and work till 15.30.
For more info on the Carpet Sessions: What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?
I (Esther Eij) want to invite artists from all kinds of artdisciplines (performing and non-performing!) to join me in a 6 session research on the balance between groupwork and individuality.
WHEN: 1, 8, 15 oct. + 3, 10, 17 dec. 2015 between 13.00-15.30
Each cycle of three will end with an open session in wich we share our findings with others.
WHAT: In group improvisation there is always a balance to be found between the group and it’s individual members. This makes group improvisation an exciting way to research the role of the individual in the process of the group.
In the sessions I want to focus on the questions:
Themes that we will focus on are e.g.:
initiating, waiting, timing
taking and giving space, time, attention, focus.
solo work- group work
WHO: To research this, I would like to work with a group of artists from different disciplines, performing and non-performing! The mix between artists who more often work alone (e.g. visual artists, writers) and performers who mostly work in relation to others (e.g. musicians, dancers, actors) will create a rich context to look at both interdisciplinary improvisation principles and your own artistic practice.
HOW: It’s my intention to work with the same group of people for these 6 sessions, so we can find the time to explore and experiment and maybe develop a way of working that helps us use our individual qualities during group work.
Please announce yourself if you would like to join in by writing a comment to this blogpost (below) or emailing me directly email@example.com.
Participants contribute between 5-10 euro p.p. per session as a Carpet donation for helping to keep the studio open all year for improvisation research. For more info on the Carpet Sessions: What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?
I come from a theatre background, teaching, directing, performing. More and more i started to focus my work on how we communicate with one another, how we interact, and how we experience ourselves and the ones around us. I call this:Practising Communication. Under that name I organise different forms of conversations,Socratic Dialogues, training- and improvisationsessions, performances in daily live.
Hope to see you in october. And please share this invite!