Copyright Spazionu (2012). Retrieved from http://www.spazionu.com/img.email/sabine.jpg
Fig. 2 How body maps emotions
Copyright The Atlantic (2013). Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/mapping-how-emotions-manifest-in-the-body/282713/
“I momenti magici di uno spettacolo rientrano nell’arte della riviviscenza, vale a dire il processo mediante il quale un musicista rievoca, analizza, comprende e rivive una sola esperienza personale analoga a quella che il compositore e la musica vogliono esprimere e se ne serve per immedesimarsi in essa. Bisogna saper stimolare e guidare la natura con sistemi di psicotecnica che stimolino il subconscio e lo coinvolgono per vie dirette e indirette nella creazione. Nel momento in cui nel nostro lavoro interviene il subconscio non bisogna disturbarlo. Non si può creare sempre subcoscientemente e in stato di ispirazione, nessun genio può farlo. La creazione deve essere cosciente e giusta, perchè così produce il vero e il vero porta alla convinzione, facendo intervenire la natura del subconscio poi”.
– How was remembering the body sensation and how was exploring it keeping your memory costantely in your head?
– Did the emotion you felt in the past arise at some point?
– If yes, once it arised, did it went away or did it stay with you for a while?
FIND 3 WORDS THAT IDENTIFY/DESCRIBE THE EXPLORATION OF THE BODY SENSATION OF THE MEMORY.
Talk to my dancers after every exploration is really important to my process, because from their reflection I can understand if I am going in the right direction, what I need to investigate more and the point I am at. It is one of the most important source for my researching process.
There is just one problem…
I HAVE NEVER COLLABORATED WITH A COMPOSER!
My intention is to investigate what happen if they don’t have the power to chose their memory, and which is their reaction.
Copyright Bowdery, I. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153885227089893&set=a.10151158218589893.466517.516674892&type=3&theater
(Bowdery, I. (2015). Retrieved from Facebook)
In the last exploration (16/11/15) I had the chance to lead their emotional memory. In this way they didn’t have their control on what was going on. I found more useful and powerful leading them towards a particular emotion creating a certain mood in the studio. Just gining them some inputs I have the possibility of touching them and they spontaneously link those inputs to somenthing they lived and experienced.
Giving them an external input, such as a powerful music, or a really sad story, allow them just to react to what they hear in that moment. They can be “in the moment” or not, because the energy that I created in the studio was leading them, without them to be necessarily conscious about what it is happening. I recognize it, because when I asked them to rememebr what happened in their body, they were not able to do it without the score I gave to them in the previous exploration.
I think I am going to try some completely different tasks, and see if they can support my research in a more effective way.
Copyright Christian Kipp (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.christiankipp.com/
Once again, everything they have done and felt in this exploration was not fully concious. They were asked to answer to question they didn’t expect, the fact that they have to speak, made them more concentrate on talking then on moving.
In the second session, I have tried to change the task, and I ask them to do it not in circle, to speak about whatever they want. Then I tried to make it in pairs and have a conversation. But it did not satisfied me. The fact that they could choose what to speak about, made them loose also the reaction in the body.
Just reading, researching, and reflecting on what I want I have already, and what I want to find out.
After the last two exploration, I realised that I need somenthing more. I am interested in find a way to make them be mindful in their body, and how they move it, passing through their brain, their feelings, their emotions. I want to make a connection between their mind and their body, but I want to find a way to make them aware of both: mind and body.
“In the practice of somatic therapy we consciously explore specific movement, energetic, and postural patterns by directing our awareness to particular tissues of the body, and touching or moving the body with the intention to effect change in those tissues. This may open us to feelings, images, memories, and sensations that we were not conscious before. Past experiences that we have been unable to integrate, or that have been forgotten or repressed, are stored in the body tissues and fluids as bound energy; they are also stored in the unconscious psyche as images. Somatic work touches upon and awakens the unconscious store of memories, feelings, images, and knowledge held in the body (…).
Somatic therapy engages the conscious mind in developing awareness of specific movement expressions, and directing or repattering those expressions with conscious intent. The conscious mind penetrates unconscious and unexpressed areas of the body, awakening awareness in the body and integrating body and mind into a coherent whole.
If we only relate to the body with cpnscious intent, this may lead to an overly self-conscious or controlled way of being; in this we are expressing ourselves primarily through the nervous system, which can lead the disturbances. Consciously directed movement needs to be balanced by surrender to unconscious process, to the flow of the fluids within the body, and the free of spontaneous expression of the inner feeling self.
Authentic movement, a development within the field of dance movement therapy, to deepen, explore, and integrate the unconscious meaning of feelings, sensations, images, and movement experiences evoked by focused somatic work. The form of authentic movement offers a vehicle through which personal meaning can be integrated into consciousness.”
I asked them to be conscious of how they physicalized it and to put it in words.
(Cohen, (1993) Sensing, Feeling, and Action.)
Being Mindful with an open, choiceless orientation is a challenge of meditation and can be applied in performance.
“All we experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind, made by mind. Speak or act with a corrupted mind
And suffering follows
As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox.
All we experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind, made by mind.
Speak or act with a peaceful mind
And happiness follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
How can I apply these rules on movements?
“Buddhism regards life as the unity of the physical and the spiritual. It views all things, whether material or spiritual, seen or unseen, as manifestations of the same ultimate universal law or source of life defined in the Nichiren tradition as Myoho-renge-kyo. The physical and spiritual aspects of our lives are completely inseparable and of equal importance.”
Materialists claim that the physical or material world which can be measured and touched is the only “reality,” whereas some spiritual traditions see the physical as mere illusion–or something inherently corrupt which exists in order to be transcended, and the spiritual as the ultimate truth.
Buddhism regards life as the unity of the physical and the spiritual. It views all things, whether material or spiritual, seen or unseen, as manifestations of the same ultimate universal law or source of life defined in the Nichiren tradition as Myoho-renge-kyo. The physical and spiritual aspects of our lives are completely inseparable and of equal importance. This is expressed in the Japanese expression shikishin funi. Shiki refers to all matter and physical phenomena, including the human body. Shin refers to all spiritual, unseen phenomena, including reason, emotion and volition. Funi literally means “two but not two.”
Nichiren expressed this in a letter to one of his followers, stating: “A person can know another’s mind by listening to his voice. This is because the physical aspect reveals the spiritual aspect. The physical and the spiritual, which are one in essence, manifest themselves as two distinct aspects.”
A person’s inner emotional state will be revealed in his or her physical appearance. The feelings of someone in a happy and optimistic mood can be read in their face; there may even be a skip in their step. In contrast, the painful gait and drawn features of a person weighed down by suffering can communicate his or her inner torment even from a distance.
As Daisaku Ikeda writes, “When our determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction we desire. The moment we resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in our being will immediately orient itself toward our success. On the other hand, if we think, ‘This is never going to work out,’ then at that instant, every cell in our being will be deflated and give up the fight.”
True health and genuine happiness must encompass both the physical and the spiritual. Many of the experiences of SGI members relate to improved health, physical or material conditions. Through the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they also realize the inseparability of the spiritual and physical aspects of their lives. Over time this is revealed in both a feeling of physical well-being and a growing clarity and purity of the mental and perceptive processes. What are referred to as the “conspicuous benefits” of Buddhist practice relate primarily to the physical and material planes. Most crucial in the long term are the “inconspicuous benefits” of sustained Buddhist practice–increased self-awareness, wisdom and compassion for others. The ultimate inconspicuous benefit, of course, is enlightenment.
Buddhism views a living being as the harmonious coming together of what it terms the “five components.” These are: the physical aspects of life and the senses; perception, which integrates the impressions received through the senses; conception, by which we form ideas about what we have perceived; volition, the will that acts on conception; and consciousness, the function of discernment that supports the functioning of the other components. Life is the force or energy that keeps these five components functioning together as a harmonious and integrated whole.
Modern medical science is only beginning to explore the subtle interconnections between body and mind, between the physical and spiritual aspects of life. Ultimately, Buddhism views both physical and spiritual aspects as vital manifestations of the life force that is inherent in the cosmos itself. As Nichiren wrote: “Life at each moment encompasses both body and spirit and both self and environment of all sentient beings in every condition of life, as well as non-sentient beings–plants, sky and earth, on down to the most minute particles of dust. Life at each moment permeates the universe and is revealed in all phenomena.”[Courtesy April 1999 SGI Quarterly]
Read more here: http://www.fondazionegraziottin.org/it/scheda.php/Le-impressioni-diventano-suoni-Claude-Debussy-Clair-de-lune-?EW_CHILD=13565
My research interests lie within the field of psychological studies, particularly how psychology can impact all aspects of our lives. What particularly drove my interest was the connection between mind and body. I was intereseted in investigating how dancers, who are, by nature of the art form, aware of their bodies, could explore deeply the body sensations that arise from their memories, images or feelings to achieve a mindful awareness of this connection in their movements. I have chosen to work with a group of dancers because I am interested in exploring and finding the individuality of each and, at the end, to create a coherent whole choreographic work which demonstrates the results of my investigation.
My second aim was the development of a choreographic process to see how I can put my resources and investigation in a whole choreographic work to be performed on stage. I wanted to see how the achievement of a mindful presence can enhance the dancers performativity and I was interested in how I could develop a choreographic structure through which I can show the result of my exploration. The final piece is about the dancers’ state of consciousness through which their movement is originated and their bodily state awareness also in relation to the space and to the other people, which comes from the dancers’ process maturation.
In most of the explorations at the beginning of the process, my intention was to create a particular energy in the studio to lead them towards a certain emotional state. Through this method, I was able to find a truth in their movements, which was initiating from their emotions and sensations. What was missing at the beginning was the awareness of their bodies, and the movements generated in the improvisation tasks were not bodily mindful, as they were overthinking with the brain, not allowing the body to remember the sensation of their experience. To prepare the dancers’ mind and body to be fully engaged and present in the moment for the tasks, I used two different practices, which, experienced together, revealed to be complementary, these were: relaxation and meditation. Starting rehearsals with a deep relaxation practice allows the dancers to blank their minds from all their worries, permitting them to relieve the stress and be ready both with mind and body. This was followed by a mindful meditation (Wegela, 2010), which allowed the dancers to become present in their bodies. As soon as this practice was finished, I guided them to slowly start moving while listening to their body, which evolved into different tasks (the tasks were varied through the rehearsal process), which were underpinned by the practice of Insight Improvisation.
When I started working on the choreographic piece, my interest was captured by the bodily state of the dancers, which in some moments became visible to the witnesser. For that reason, the dance work is the result of different situations which have arisen during the explorations, which I tried to put in a choreographic structure, letting them remember the sensation they had when they experienced it the first time. The result is an ideal balance of conscious and subconscious working together. This bodily state, which allowed situations arise from a conscious motivation, is the primary drive behind my choreographic decision.
At the end of every session, I I lead group discussion with my dancers asking them to share their experiences and thoughts. This has been a valuable part of my process, because their reflections informed the direction of the practical research process. The dancers also participated in writing task, for example; articulating the sensations they felt, and note anything else they felt useful for their personal process.
My sketchbook is the container of all my reflections, from the beginning of the process. Referring to it helped me to evaluate my process and understand the way it was evolving. Writing down my ideas and thoughts also allowed me to visualise my aims and to understand where I was heading.
At the beginning, I realised I was focused on giving them tasks where I gave them an external input, such as a powerful music, or an emotive story, allowing them just to react to what they were experiencing in that moment. Through this method I was not able to lead them towards a mindful experience, because the energy I created in the studio was leading them, without them necessarily being aware of what was happening in their bodies. I recognised they were not embodying the experience; their movements were coming from a reaction.
Using Authentic Movement and Insight Improvisation practice as a starting point to develop tasks, I found out that this methodology was more effective at offering them different ways to explore their body as a whole and in a mindful approach, to detach from their habits, increasing their ability to be present and in the moment.
I decided to work with dancers fully engaged in a BA course, which makes them very busy physically and mentally. Doing rehearsals at the end of the day, I found it incredibly beneficial during my practice to use an appropriate warm up to prepare them. It allowed them to embrace the exploration with their body mindfully and their mind present. Moreover, once I finished structured the choreography, I make them experience it before the warm up and after, to let them and myself notice the difference. Observing them, I noticed that their bodily state after the warm-up was definitely more mindful and present, because it allowed them to release the tension in their body and being in a sense of freedom, effectiveness, comfort and groundedness.
In my choreographic practice I developed my ability as an observer. Working with them for a long period, I found out how much I am now able to witness and notice subtle details in their way of moving, when they are present and when they are not. Movements with awareness not only allows the dancers to enter into an experience of the “here and now”, as Daria Halprin (2014) argued, but also give the possibility to who is watching to believe in the truth of their movement. Trough movements we can “evokes, reveals and channel feeling, emotion, memories, images and story” (Halprin, 2014) and this is what drove my decision making in my choreographic process.