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September 14, 2011

I am doing very little on ‘Echo Chamber’ at the moment. My head, time, imagination is entirely located in ‘Acts of Resistance’  – the show I am making with the MA ensemble I am running and which opens in Huddersfield next week. “Echo Chamber’ is relegated to the shadows.

But in the shadows, things lurk, stories unfold, the unpredictable takes shape.

Unexpectedly I found myself on my own in the studio for two hours this morning. I had expected to be rehearsing the ensemble, but things changed. So, partly as I have a sore back at the moment, I decided to work my body a bit and see how it responded….

I have been having a very rich, if vulnerable time of late as I lead (and participate in) the core psychophysical training that underpins my work. Though the training seems simple, it is rich and deep and subtle, as much for me who leads/participates as for those who make up the ensemble. The training requires that you meet yourself and, with clear and unsentimental eyes, observe the working of your body mind. There is no hiding place. Fear is magnified. Joy is magnified. Vulnerability is magnified. Each moment is magnified. The act of being alive seems gloriously, terrifyingly magnified.

And the last few weeks has been especially rich for me in terms of some of my understandings of my own functioning, though I’ll not go into that here.

So I had some time to work on my own in the studio. I paid attention to my body in motion, to the act of standing up or sitting down. To allowing impulse to flow and images to form without censorship. I gave myself to the ebb and flow of each moment.

I was not really thinking about ‘Echo Chamber’, I was just thinking about my back. About movement. Perhaps I was hardly thinking.

Suddenly it was as if, from where it had been lurking, evolving, feeding in the shadows, “Echo Chamber’ possessed me. Image after image, movement after movement inhabiting my body, finding its form through me. Many of the moments that I had half-imagined while composing music or the narrative structure, suddenly, like a ravenous beast, leaping into my spine and twisting me to their pleasure.

And not just the shapes –  the images, emotions, dynamics.

The ideas that I have for ‘Echo Chamber’, played with and mused on for months, now temporarily ignored, relegated to the shadows, found their own life and gathered the strength they need to reclaim my body from my mind.

It was a possession – raw and bloody and irresistible.

There is, in creativity, a time to think and a time to ignore. But when the bastard, half-formed child of your imaginings demands you attention, there is no place to hide.

There is a beautiful poem by Gary Snyder called ‘How Poetry Comes to Me’

How Poetry Comes to Me

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emma Idén Asker permalink
    September 15, 2011 12:23 pm

    “There is no hiding place” – very true…and very beautiful…and scary…just like life. How wonderful. Thank you John. Love Emma


  1. Raw. | Ensemble Physical Theatre

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