Movements #02

Life as Theatre Part 02

"We could take any slice of our life, any segment, and replay it, line by line, half a line, one word at a time, and replay it, with spontaneity. There are two kinds of spontaneity: mechanical spontaneity and conscious spontaneity. We may deliver the line thirty times or forty times, delivered in thirty or forty different ways with many experimental pieces of improvised physical business, expressions, tonalities, until we regain the sense of spontaneity. It's what Miro was trying to do and Picasso. Trying to regain the spontaneity. This requires serious practice. Not the mechanical spontaneity that comes from nature, but the spontaneity that comes from practice and craft, stagecraft, stage presence, the finesse that comes only from long experience.

"Let's see if we can develop between us now a method for using our ordinary mechanical activities and our subjective experience of everyday events as conscious theatre.

"To see the sense in life as theatre, I would like you to explore and see the sense in life as theatre. I'd like you to explore and see the sense in life as theatre. To see the sense in life as theatre."

Someone in the back seemed to have difficulty understanding the idea.

"What is not spontaneous about the thirtieth time you've delivered a line?" said G. "Why should it be spontaneous the first time you delivered the same line? "Why not? What's your problem?"

The person's reply was barely audible. G. seemed to understand it.

"Somewhere along the line, you decided that organic-mechanical spontaneity is real and that stagecraft, activity and sound in the voluntary, is unreal, that involuntary spasmodic activity of the machine is more real than the voluntary. The involuntary activities of the machine seem to you to be more real than the voluntary use of the machine to deliver the same lines and movements and activities. Normally the machine just stumbles forward through life. Can you demonstrate this, stumbling through life?" G. asked one of the mime performers. "How the machine falls forward. You fall forward and catch yourself, fall forward and catch yourself.

"What I'm after with you is not this reflex, this mechanical dependence on the momentum of your past, this stumbling forward and catching yourself. When your questions were treated as deliberate lines in a theatre piece, it caught you by surprise. You're not used to living in the voluntary. When you were asked to repeat the line, you didn't have any idea what you said, first of all, and secondly, you were afraid to repeat the line because you thought you'd lose the mechanical spontaneity. You thought it would sound phony. Only with practice does the spontaneity come back.


Tabatha Jones, a thirty year veteran of The Academy of Ancient Dance, performs the Rhythmics and$

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