Background

Melbourne

Lead Artists: Heidi Everitt, Janice Florence, Jo Dunbar and Jodee Mundy

‘Still in the circle, shake out, breathe in, raise your arms. Breathe out lower your arms. Close your eyes for a moment and remember what you have done today. Open them. We thanked each other and applauded each other’

– Janice Florence

Workshop Plan

This plan will have an element of flexibility I around group responses to various exercises. If something is going well and has the potential to extend in creative ways influenced by material that arises from individuals, we may take it further.

Introductions

  1. Brief explanation of Weave.
  2. Circle where people say their names and do a movement. Everyone else copies the movement and says their name (as there were 40 people in the group we didn’t go round the whole circle)
  3. Still in the circle, each person offers a warm-up stretch or move and all copy each one. Can be big or very small. Even fingers and faces need warming up. (limited the number of initiators again)

Creative Task

  1. Move out into the space. Weave around each other. Make the space more confined and the group closer together When one person stops, everyone stops. When one person starts everyone starts. Let this develop for a while. Next time you stop make contact with someone near you even if only with a finger. Repeat this. Next time same thing but then change the point of contact and different body parts (head, foot, elbow, shoulder, back to back-less threatening light and small points of contact, back to back is also less threatening). Repeat this a few times. Stop in a low or high position when you stop.
  2. With a partner leading and following. The leading partner places their hand under the hand of the follower. Leading is always very sensitive and not forceful with the lightest of touch. Start with small movements and then later you can get more adventurous if you both want to-add bigger movements, travel further round the space go low or high. If the follower is comfortable they can close their eyes or close them sometimes and open them sometimes. It is a great experience if you can close your eyes.

    There are variations on this where you let go and dance back to a place where you can come back into contact. Change roles.
    I demonstrated with someone from the class at the beginning. (as there were so many people I divided the group in half and some were the audience while others moved and vice versa. Good for people to watch how others enact a task. I gave time for people to talk to each other after this as people always want to talk after this exercise. I then asked for a few comments from the crowd it is usually a strong, enjoyable experience for participants. Some people prefer to lead or to follow and some feel negative about one role or the other) Dance the memory of this pair dance by yourself. It doesn’t have to be exact-just whatever comes to mind as you remember your dance with your partner. Gives people a chance to come back to themselves and it’s a variation from partner work. It gives resources for solo work. (I added an instruction to do this dance on the spot, as there wasn’t enough space to travel without the danger of people colliding) We briefly talked and I asked for a few comments after this exercise.

  3. 5-10 minute break
  4. With a partner choose two words and two beginning movements. Teach each other. These movements should be able to travel but you can also develop them and also allow other movements to come up. (This was going to be a partner piece created by the two partners. The pairs became trios and quartets due to numbers but also it was an impetus from certain people to work in these larger groups. Due to the large numbers and the space being relatively small. I decided to make the exercise to have the group moving in a diagonal across the space so that each group had a moment of their own before the next group followed and space to move and a chance to watch each other. This worked really well. Each group was very individual including a trio of dancers who are blind or low vision who had an Audio-describer working closely with them. Their piece became a very imaginative conversation taking place across the space. I wouldn’t have foreseen this happening but the openness of the score allowed it.)
  5. In a large circle two people could go in at a time and dance to funky music and then go back to the circle, while those on the edge supported them in movement. (It ended up with more in the middle but that worked OK)

Conclusion

Still in the circle, shake out, breathe in, raise your arms. Breathe out lower your arms. Close your eyes for a moment and remember what you have done today. Open them. We thanked each other and applauded each other

Janice Florence
Weave Movement Theatre