Devising processes of Scott Graham.

When approaching the unknown world of physical theatre, Scott Graham is one of its most significant figures. Scott Graham has shaped this field through his engagement by co-founding and leading Frantic Assembly, an award-winning theatre company, that is traditionally devoted to physically devised theatre.

According to Graham physical theatre helps narrate stories through interactive movement as well as big and unconventional gestures.

In our group, we worked to incorporate the techniques of devised theatre that he follows onto our work, in inspiration from a piece of art. The piece of art we chose to be influenced by is Jackson Pollock’s, dripped ink and enamel on paper, untitled artwork. Its characteristic vagueness in meaning gives us more freedom for interpretation.

The first technique, as Graham defines it, Round-By-Through helped our team create choreography and find meaning from that. Throughout this process, it is really important to experiment and adjust the weight of the movement. This way the final piece will be original interpretation and not a copy of another artist’s product.

Hymns-Hands is the artist’s second technique; whose main focus is the performer’s hands. Different variations of Scott Graham’s movements were included in our piece, to intensify the human connection and reinforce our performance with rhythm.

Working with other artist’s theatre processes is remarkably important in order to broaden our theatre understanding and applications.

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Colombian Hypnosis

Today’s focus? You guessed it! Colombian Hypnosis.

Is it actual hypnosis? Yes, but the effect was not as strong, or maybe not existent.

Now let’s get to the reflection.
Auguste Boal is the founder of the theatre of the oppressed.
He was a politician that wanted to involve everyday people in politics.

What we did went like this. One person, A, held their hand out with the palm open, and person B, followed the palm with his head. The movement of the hand and therefore the head was slow in order for it to be as detailed and precise as possible. The palm had to lead the other person’s head to the furthest places and therefore create unusual whole body movements.

This one to one interaction developed into a chain of people all connected with each other and creating a complex interconnected piece.

The movement was demanding on a physical aspect but also from a communication’s perspective since more than two people got hurt in some way. Don’t expect anything serious, though.

I liked the activity since it I felt really bonded with the people I was following but also the people that were following me. Following their bodies created this connection as the two bodies were closely attached.

Did you like following or being followed?
I liked being followed, as I was in control. Following others and being controlled made me unimportant and my choice had no effect. On top of that, it was more demanding. When rereading this I realise how

When rereading this I realise how self centred I sound.

Process

The last few periods have been occupied with preparation and experimentation on physical theatre.

We have been looking at ways to create meaningful movements as inspiration from a piece of art.

As you can see below, we chose as our inspiration, Jackson Pollock’s piece.

Image result for jackson pollock paintings

We first started experimenting with Franctic Assembly’s techniques of in-by-through in pairs. Sam and I ended up creating a fight scene, while at the same time Giulia and Malene were creating harmonious movements. And through this experimentation, we started making connections to the painting and creating a plot.

The greatest difficulty was to resist the temptation to create movements out of a story, but rather create a story out of the movements.

This assignment is quite demanding since it requires time, discipline and cooperation, but at the same time it is an enjoyable process since it is something I am passionate about.

Shen Wei’s influence journey

The past few days in class we have been looking at physical and devised theatre. We have also been investigating how theatrical performances can be created and inspired from visual arts.

An excellent example of that, that we investigated is Shen Wei’s influence from Paul Delvaux’s paintings.

Shen Wei

Shen Wei is a Chinese-born American choreographer, visual artist, and director who resides in New York City. He is known for choreographing the opening dance of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

Some of Wei’s work has been influenced greatly by Paul Devraux. Paul Delvaux was a Belgian painter associated with Surrealism, famous for his paintings of female nudes.

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Delvaux’s aim by including nudity in his work is to mix up everyday scenes with unfitting nudity. Being nude is something really natural as we are all born this way. At the same time, those scenes that he portrays everyday situations that are normal as well. Nevertheless, when combining those two normalities something weird and memorable reimburses from this clash, that creates social scepticism. Nudity and skeletons are showing a bare human that finds himself in situations that he usually is in covered.

Adaptations include the geometrical shapes of the background, the cold and soft colours of Delvaux’s palette and the physical movements of the people shown.

It is important not to copy what is shown but get inspired by the painting and transfer the atmosphere to the work.

Working with other artist’s theatre processes (Physical Theatre)

Today in class we looked at how to influence our work by other artist’s processes. Kate showed us how to document this process but also how to include priciple’s of other artists in our theatrical journey.

Scott Graham, artistic director of the Frantic Assembly, shares his personal interest in movement in theatre and how it tells stories. Movement is interactive. The gestures are big and unconventional. Frantic Assembly is traditionally devoted to physical theatre.

Technic number One: Round-By-Through

You stand opposite of your partner and you have 3 options of connecting physically; either going through, by or round.

“Am I going by them, round them or through?” 

There is no necessity for sequence

Looking at others process you create your own by mimiquing their techniques.

1. “Experiment with it”

Always remember: Keep it simple and then add complexity.2. “Add a little bit of weight”

 2. “Add a little bit of weight”

Guiding questions:

“It is about presenting opportunities for communication”

“Find those opportunities for lifts and shifts and moves”

There are 3 Universes

  • The moment before the touch
  • The moment of the touch
  • The moment after the touch

And they should all be different.

 

Lovesong is about an aged couple looking back at the past. What happens with the journey of relationship over time.

This intimacy implies sexual contact, without acting it out. The slow moves can be explained b the fact that they belong to memory and there are feelings influencing the recall of them.

The ΒΕΣΤ

Today was the first lesson after the winter holidays. It was the first time we had a class after such a long time, and I loved it!
The lesson began with a short reflection on our break. We discussed profound moments or what stood out to us from the break. I talked about some realisations that I made. Even though I couldn’t recall any profound moments, I remembered some things that stuck with me. First of all, I figured how independent I have become by going back and seeing the environment I had to live. I realised the things that changed in me and made me able to stand on my own. It felt good to be able to hear to others experiences and relate or be fascinated by their stories and ideas.

The best part of all was the “brain” exercise. We had to move location because this exercise required the following props. The props were 4 chairs, a table and a mug. We had to create shapes indicating which piece had the most power. At first, others started experimenting by placing the chairs down and the mug on top of the table. I, then, put the table on top of the four chairs and the mug on top. Every time, we were trying to find meaning in those structures. For every one of them, we would identify the piece with the most power and justify it.

At first, others started experimenting by placing the chairs down and the mug on top of the table. I, then, put the table on top of the four chairs and the mug on top. Every time, we were trying to find meaning in those structures. For every one of them, we would identify the piece with the most power and justify it. For mine, I thought that the cup was most powerful because it was placed higher of them all and was basing its success on others by standing on top of them, meaning that figures of power get advantage of the majority to make it on top. Afterwards, someone dropped all of the props down on the floor, apart from the mug. Then we discussed how the mug by being perfect and still was the powerful object while the others were in chaos. Kate then realised that we always chose the mug as the element of power. I justified this by saying that the mug is the smallest and looking at size, power usually doesn’t lie with the majority but belongs to a few. And then I noticed how the chairs were all facing the same direction. I found that maybe the table was the object of power, being the tallest and the mug by being still and straight was a rebel, too small to make a difference.

This activity opened up my eyes to the concept of creating meaning. Art is a magical, wonderful thing where its concepts can be interpreted differently by each. The same thing can be translated into anything in different mindsets or at different time periods.

Today’s class was the best beginning to a new fearless and powerful start of this year’s theatre.