Remember the Trojan Women performance? If not, quickly check here and come RIGHT back. FemArt just opened the doors to the beautiful art of sound and movement to the public. The “Making Theatre” workshop gave us an insight on how you can combine sound and movement to not only create art, but also help you in your everyday life.
As a writer and blogger, my job is to tell these stories from my perspective and help readers envision these stories. So when I went to write for this particular workshop on a beautiful hot Saturday morning, the La MaMa team, Onni, George, Kim, Bill and Sara, invited me to take part in the workshop as well.
We started to stretch our bodies to relieve tension and simply feel loose. Everyone had their own technique, so I started stretching and doing a bit of yoga to release some tension in my joints. Afterwards, we all got into a circle and did an exercise to sort of “honor” the presence of all the participants, which I felt was awesome. Each participant said their name two times, we repeated their names and then we said their name all together. It was a great exercise to break some barriers and get to know each other, without the awkward verbal introductions.
Learning how to listen to your body and trying to coordinate it with your mind was a great challenge, but practice makes perfect. Experimenting with various movement techniques enabled us to work more with ourselves. Finding that almost-perfect balance between our bodies and minds taught us that you are in control, and even in hard or confusing times you learn more about yourself and what needs improvement. One particular activity was balancing two different “Waves”, as George called them, which were energy forces that “pulled” you in two different directions. One was your foot and the other was your finger. You had to try and find calmness and stand as still as possible. Some participants said they felt confused and wanted to give up. As George responded, this was totally fine. You learned that you had to work with yourself to find calmness in times of struggle.
After a few movement exercises, we continued working on sound. Sound was a very important part of the workshop. We learned how to use our voices to help give our actions a purpose, and how to work together with a group while singing a song. Giving our actions a purpose was one of the best things we learned during the workshop. We combined movement and sound, and you could feel the empowerment ooze from our bodies into the space. The first task was imagining that we were pushing a box. We harnessed the energy from the earth, used a technique we learned to transport that energy from the earth to our hands and we pushed an invisible box. Afterwards, our next task was pushing this invisible box, but by incorporating with it a sound or word from the “Trojan Women” performance.
The “Making Theatre” workshop taught us that there is so much more to theatre than just acting. It isn’t only about an actor who gets up on stage and plays a character. It’s about how the actor moves, how they speak and how they use the space. And we learned how to do just these things.
Written by Vesa Prapashtica