Even before M18PA I had previously engaged with Frantic’s practical work in the form of a beginners workshop and also from studying many of the outreach and educational resources that the company posts online. What drew me to the work then and probably one of the fundamental reasons as to why I wanted to join and study on this Collaborative Theatre MA – was the accessibility of the work. I have an uncontrollable urge to move, but often feel constrained in the medium of dance. I either feel overloaded with counts and choreography or conscious that my technique is not at the requisite level. However with the exercises that I had experienced in the past such as: Round-By-Through, Chair Duets and Hymm Hands I’d always felt liberated and able to engage with the creation and process of developing meaningful physical work.
What has been most inspiring for me has been, being afforded the opportunity to revisit the above mentioned exercises and many more. Being able to examine the mechanics of these exercises and developing an understanding and appreciation of whats behind processes themselves.
Work created using exercises such as: Round-By-Through, Chair Duets and Hymm Hands is shaped, developed and created using the ‘Building Blocks’ process. Building Blocks is a term coined by Frantic as a method used for building up work, layer-by-layer, brick-by-brick. Significantly, the process empowers creators, by enabling them to break the overall ambition for a sequence into smaller tasks, which could be informed by words, numbers, patterns, body-parts or a specific theme. Each could offer a way of generating a string of material that can then be built on, challenged, developed and embellished as appropriate. Subtle switches to a string of material such as altering pace, focus, location, scale and or music can have an altogether profound impact on the material created.
If an open approach is adopted during the creation of material, surprises will happen, new ideas will follow and break-throughs will be made. This of course requires, trust, patience and a willingness to walk the crooked path and to be vigilant to the walkways that open up as a result of travelling into the unknown.
The other important thing I realised with this process was that it was the individual creators ‘Break-throughs’ and ‘unlocking-moments’ that were the very mortar that builds these ‘Building Blocks’ into something more construct and substantial.
Building blocks allow us to make something “…beyond my imagination, beyond theirs.” (Scott Graham)
Developing an understanding of this process has prompted me to try to develop, apply and explore ‘Building Blocks’ in my educational and directing practice. Read about my progress below.