M:ST News

Participant Reflections on Day 2 of the Andrés Galeano Workshop

Day 2

I’m writing this on day 3, I needed time to think about yesterday. Day 2 was a movement class, 7 hours spent moving, warming up, contact dance/movement, learning to use your body as a tool. I’m sore. The workshop is more difficult than I expected, some of the people in the class are extremely experienced, some aren’t, it shakes my ego a little bit, being one of the amateurs. Everyone is pumping out incredible concepts, quickly, and that is where my faults are. As a burlesque dancer, I usually have at least a months notice to get an idea set, the only improv I know is what to do if your bra won’t come undone, if your pasties fall off, or if you trip in heels. No one has ever put a chair in front of me and told me to give it an action. Every rule of performance I know, is wrong in the world of performative art. The entire purpose of performance art is to be uncomfortable… with intention. To have a clear action with a start and finish. A place for the audience to enter and exit. But at the same time, your concept doesn’t need to be clear. If you’re going to push a chair around with your head, with the intention of flipping it back right side up, then thats all you do. You don’t use your hands or your mouth. You use your head. What that means, or what your purpose was, is up to the viewer, but at least they know, you meant to flip a chair with your head. This workshop is doing everything it should do, I was very upset when I left, almost in tears. I felt like a terrible artist. It took a night to realize that I’m not, in stepping out of my comfort zone, questioning everything I know to be true about performance, and exploring, I’m not really meant to be great yet. As long as I’m moving, trying things, failing at things, I’m learning. No harm in that. I think the thing I really took away from day 2, is that if you feel the movements you are making, then other people will feel them too. It isn’t necessarily the movement itself, but the intention you do it with. At the end of the day we paired up and did a short performance. Sally and I dragged each other across the floor, it felt strong, I regret not doing it longer, but I have a bruise from my armpit to my elbow that tells me maybe what we did was just fine. All I can say is that you should be excited for Friday.