Strut / Maxine Doyle with Sarah Dowling 2

Everyone in this workshop is getting something unique out of it for themselves.

Some of us are challenged psychologically… Sarah’s methods of physical theatre definitely extend a dancer’s arsenal of technique, however with any extension of skills, a learning process has to come - and with learning comes challenge, and often perceived failure… as well as the epiphanies.

Quick update on my own injuries, I’m told that YES they are quite bad (when I was changing in front of the others the other day someone said “oh my god Andrew!!” at my bruises). Those bruises were got by physicalising the psychosis of MacBeth - which was a lot of fun. Meh, what’s a few bruises when I had the opportunity to be really expressive (as, at the end of the day, MacBeth’s psychosis is probably quite similar to my own).

We started making work in small groups. I got to flex my composition brain a bit and instead of coming up with an approach to putting choreo together overnight, I came up with sound in which our group’s choreographic material we’d discovered together could exist. I did a multi-layered Frozen; “Let it go” against Shostakovich 8th string quartet movement 2 and Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight” underpinned with aspects of my own “Bodies in Motion”, and (having flexibility and willingness) cut/shifted sounds and parts to suit the choreo we put together in the final stages of the exercise.

It was quite a dark piece we did - entrapment and getting out of it; with overtones of formulaic existence, control and submission. Towards the end of the piece (when “Let it go” starts playing loudly in cannon) I had the instinct to laugh maniacally… (I mean, I often do anyway, but there seemed to be good impetus in this context). Dapheny, who was also in our group felt it was natural, Dominic wasn’t sure why it was relevant to the piece…. But I figured ouk its relevance later --- Laughter is the Ultimate release from internal entrapment. I just remembered seeing it in Decadance a few weeks before and thought YES! Appropriate!

Working with Dapheny and Dominik on a small work together (6’30) over a period of mere hours was exhilarating. We had our own personal approaches to creating work and I felt they slid into each other seamlessly. Daph’s had a decade long career (plus) in dance (we’re the same age, and I’d say of similar gravity of experience, albeit in different fields), whereas Dominik is 1 year out of WAAPA (dance major). I was a bit intimidated by proposing ideas at first, but both Dom and Daph have a bit of different types of crazy / risk-taking in them too, so I felt at home.

Overall, though, I am struggling with a few aspects of this workshop. Every morning we have an open class until 11 and as a part of that there is some fixed choreography we’ve been asked to unison before going into an improv. All the dancy-dancers can really do it so amazingly, and consistently, every time… I sort of feel like I’m floundering and look a bit uncoordinated (though the others tell me “You’re doing so well!”). I’m not struggling with the improv parts, nor the special Punchdrunk technique parts. I’ve discovered I’m most comfortable semi-scored improv, and I think my best work comes out in mixed improv/scored choreography with some fixed elements. I’d never had known this without having gone to this workshop. I can’t wait to find out the discoveries I’ll have leading up to this Thursday’s showing. I’m already pondering what to wear…. (or how little to wear).... ((or if I should wear anything at all?))...

ANYWAY. Today’s a beach day. I’ve invited some of the participants over to my place (Gallop House, it’s a sweet spot in the “Golden Triangle” of Perth) for a cuppa before I drive us to the beach to just relax!