Dear Man on the Street: Sometimes There's a Reason for Skipping

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 1:40 PM

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That was awesome. So awesome that I danced and hummed my way home. Well half-danced. Okay. It was just a little skip here and there and I let my arms swing.

Pardon my holding off on writing about Portugal so that I can write about tonight.

First, a bit of background.

When I came to Oviedo, I was determined to find a theatre group I could be a part of. That was going to be my way to grow roots here. In fact, I remember setting a Facebook status that went like this, "Just sent messages to 17 theatre groups in Oviedo asking if there was anything I could participate in. Determined."

Well, for all my well-intentioned determination, I ended up with a few "no thanks" e-mails and a lot of no responses.

Then I thought my chance came when I found out that there was a University Theatre group that had a casting. A friend of mine told me that he had negative experiences with the group, but I went anyways. The casting was fun, and I was just thrilled to get to be on a stage again. Afterward, I talked with some of the members and felt even more hopeful. One, two, three months later I get my first response from them: an invitation to participate in a theatre course. The cost: 280 euros. So much for that.

I was frustrated. But an inkling of a thought wandered into my head. "If you see a need...do something about it." But what could I do? I didn't have the resources, didn't even know of anyone else who wanted to do theatre...I had a lot of good excuses. I started entertaining the idea of taking the bus to a random city and doing solo performances just as a creative outlet.

Then I went to London.

And something about being in London gave me a little bit of perspective and even more determination. By the time I got to Portugal, I was decided. I was going to make my own group. Even if it was just me, practicing in a space once a week, I was going to do it. I had to.

A few days after I got back from Portugal, I was sitting in a cafe writing about collective versus individual identity, a topic which was broached in a bar in Portugal as I debated with a 60-something year old man. And I began to think about the beauty within a collaborative, and how you can make something that couldn't have been there before. My foot started tapping on the ground in impatience. I needed a performance collective. Here.

But where would I find the space? Who would do it with me? Could I really just start my own?

The next day I was having lunch with my friend Sergio, who started and runs Partycipa, an activist organization focused on combining creativity and play with social action. They work a lot with kids.

And somehow the subject of performance and street action comes up and I become a bit animated and launch into my idea for an experimental performance group.

He offers me a space. I just have to pick a date.

And now, a week later, I am sitting in my kitchen having just hurriedly eaten some chicken* and I still have a bit of a post-performance afterglow.

Well, to be fair, I didn't perform tonight. But we got started.

There were seven of us tonight. Only two had ever done anything remotely related to theatre.

In a rough combination of English and Spanish, I led us through some warm-ups (samurai, lion/lemon face, shake down), some games (museum, instant protest), some exercises (sound circle, partner mirror, partner and group curve/angle) and then a body relax/energy focus cool down.** I wanted to start on Viewpoints/Flow today, but ran out of time. And that might have been a bit ambitious.

And it was beautiful. Already people were making beautiful moments together. Realizing the potential that they had to create.

It was energizing. It was perfect in its imperfection. It was a start.

And we also have next week.

So I 1/3 skipped, 1/3 walked, and 1/3 danced my way home.

______
*With garlic, lemon, and a balsamic syrup. Good times.
**To Sigur Ros, of course.

Comments (2)

love the blogs. don't mind the lists. sometimes it's the only way to say so much.

Blog is nice..Thanks for sharing..

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