Saturday, 10 December 2011

Connectivities: breath

Working from ease and flow in the breath...

Begin in rest... allow air to enter the whole body and exhale deeply, 

as you exhale release tensions in the body,
becoming like an empty suit...

As you exhale and the tensions drop away see what movement is opened....


Friday, 25 November 2011

Flow and interruption 5: complexities

Developing upon the previous post/task, here the complexities become greater as the instructions are linked to random external sources (sounds, light changes etc).

Requiring multiple levels of attention - internal and external, aural and visual, the task is to maintain the sense of flow, the internal connectedness to image, whilst being open to layered external sources surrounding you and, here being purposefully brought into the improvisation.

Video: two version of the the improvisation are here linked together, in which both the dancer and camera respond to the complex layers of 'instruction'.

Flow and interruption 4: internal image and external triggers

Working with a partner/witness the purpose of this task is to develop and maintain an internal image whilst paying attention to multiple layers of information and responding to 'instructions' that are intended to expand the improvisation and the territory of movements emerging.

Both the partners give and respond to the agreed 'instructions', here they are:
stay with that

Video: Two versions of the improvisation are edited together, cross fading between moments. Here the cameras position, depth of field and relationship to the dancer are also altered in relation to the same instructions.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Flow and interruption 3: external triggers

External Triggers (vocal):

Working with a witness/partner.

As you dance you respond to external instructions to....

Pay attention to the nature of your 'responses' and vary them, play with the different possibilities.

As a development you might give instructions to your partner at the same time such that an exchange as a form of duet evolves.

Video: Lightly edited, camera on dolly.
In this version I also trigger alterations in the camera operation/framing via the instruction to 'change'.

External triggers (sounds):

Developing the use of simple instructions to trigger a response
... to a change, pause or elaborate...
map these instructions to external and random sounds.

In the video below for example the triggers are mapped as follows:
Change to passing Cars
Pause to external Voices
Elaborate to corridor and door sounds

These random 'interruptions' become part of your dance,
listen for them, whilst staying within your practice...  
note the way your awareness needs to be in several places.
Note the way the sounds layer over each other, generating complexities....

How do you elaborate a pause?
How do you response to two triggers that come at once?

Video: lightly edited, camera on a dolly.
Here the camera work is also triggered to 'change' through external sounds (in this case passing cars).

Monday, 7 November 2011

Flow and interruption 2: one long phrase

A short dance that consists of one long phrase

As you start to dance pay attention to the way each movement, idea, happening gives rise to the next. Note this in yourself (and perhaps through writing on the page). 

Take pleasure, without wallowing, in this transitional mode of operating.

Start to reduce the gaps in-between, such that the body is in constant 'flow' - movement without pauses, highlights, hesitations, glitch's.  
Perhaps, as Rainer would have said, we could work towards an improvisation that is a short dance that consists of one long phrase.
This phrase might be said to have flow.... 
What is the nature of this flow?

Photographs: 'Pleasure and flow in one long phrase'

Flow and interruption 1: internal flow

Finding Flow 
Find a warm comfortable place to lay quietly.

In this space spend time just being with there, being in the moment, such that you allow yourself to come to rest. 
This may take time. That is ok. Note the time is takes to be present in this moment (rather than rushing ahead with your time, thoughts, actions...)

Note the sounds, textures, movement, temperature in and around you.

Are these part of the flow of being in this moment, or perhaps you find them interruptions... (interruptions to what you might ask yourself?).

Allow the sounds, textures, movements etc to drifting in and out of your awareness, such that you remain open to them (you needn't pretend these 'interruptions' aren't happening, but don't fix upon them,....) they are all part of the flow of this time.   

How does this reconfigure notions of flow and interruption, what would a flow of interruptions be like? How might flow itself be an interruption?

Friday, 21 October 2011

(Re)visiting and inverting 2: accumulating

Composing and building... noting and 'repeating'
Material adds upon material it emerges...

Starting dancing, following whatever movement initiation occurs to you, while paying attention to your actions.
Note a 'key'* movement idea and return to it (in repeat, inverted, to another direction for example)

Moving on.....

Then again, note your next 'key' movement ideas.... add this idea to your first - 
replay one, add in two, replay one and two, add in a third, replay one, two and three, add in a forth...
Accumulating these never quite the same materials, ....following each phrase and returning, replaying..
                                           this is an exercise in paying attention, in remembering...

 * by 'key' I mean you to select whatever movement images resonate strongly with you whilst you are dancing.

Improvisation 1 (in timelapse video)

Improvisation 2 (in real time with a light edit)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

(Re)visiting and inverting 1: tracking back

If you use the metaphor of sewing - this improvisation is like making a back-stitch within a series of running stitches.

Begin your dance, using an impulse of within the body, in the room or the sounds around you to initiate your movement....
Stay with a single action/phrase a while - find out by dancing with this action/phrase some of its possibilities. ..... and then as you feel ready, let your dance 'run on'....

Then returning, going back to a previous point in the improvisation... revisit this material in order to know it otherwise and to see where else it might lead....

tracking back and forth your dance evolves....

Video: An extract from an extended improvisation filmed on a dolly 

Monday, 10 October 2011

(Re)locations 6: in isolation

Shifting small isolated actions across different parts of the body,
    .... Echoing patterns and rhythms whilst responding to the anatomy of each new location.

Video: Filmed in closed up and arranged on screen

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Thursday, 1 September 2011

(Re)locations 4: carrying it with you

This task asks that you take your experiences of moving in one place into another...from street to studio, stairwell to field, swimming pool to hillside.

As you generate movement in one place, as the environment provokes embodied responses - note these movement responses, replay them until you are familiar with the sensations, qualities and patterns of your improvisation. 


move into a new location, (re)finding and replaying the material from your first space, noting how the new location changes it and/or how you experience the movement differently.... what is it that you 'carry' with you? 

This could continue in a chain of  locations allowing the improvisation to morph in response to each new location, whilst noting what remains....

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

(Re)locations 3: transitory spaces

Transitory spaces are those that we pass through as we travel from A-B. Usually we treat them in a functional manner, passing through as a necessary part of our journey.

I invite you to bring a heightened attention to these spaces. The corridors you pass through, the stairways you ascend, the streets you stride along are all places with particular geometries and energies that shape your usual usage.  

I invite you to pause, to remain, to allow these places to become areas of play.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

(Re)locations 2: home

Improvising as a way of (re)experiencing 'home':

Choose somewhere comfortable to you, a familiar place.
Note, with the knowledge of the native, your habitual usage and experiences of this space.
            ....... Then explore it anew, such that you bring different energy, patterns, usages etc to it through your dancing in this space.
Viewing it with the curiosity of the tourist and the restlessness of the homeless....
It may be as simple as a different route from sitting to sanding, door to chair.... or perhaps you might sit upside down on your sofa - bringing a new perspective.. or you might sleep at the opposite end of the bed.  Small alterations that allow you to 'see' and 'experience' things otherwise. And these experiences might give rise to more extended moments of moving, dancing.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

(Re)locations 1: responses to site

As a 'traveller' the Nomadic Improvisor is open to shifting inbetween spaces, re-orientating oneself to/within sites, reforming the body and the dance in response to new impulses -  sights, sounds, textures, atmosphere and energies of changing locations.

Video: A short series of clips filmed with a static mid shot using a flip camera and very simply edited using 'magic video' flip share software.

Noting and Absorbing:
Spend time in a chosen location, rest there. 
Observe, listen, absorb the place in which you find yourself.
Being curious...being open,
Note details, patterns, atmospheres.
Note how they resonate within you.

Entering and Responding:
Starting to respond, 
May be movement will arise... impulses from what you see, hear, feel... responses to textures, colours, light and shade...

Move freely, following whilst noting, what it is that draws you.
What in this location is it that initiates your dance? 

Shift between impulses, allowing the complexities of this new space to become familiar, to enter your body through your actions and your attention.

Start to pay attention to particular features of the space...
Stay with one (or two) impulses, deepening your understanding and awareness through dwelling in them, encountering this detail multiple times, for each time it will be different, each time it can be experienced anew.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Open Improvisation

Digression in nomadic improvising is one of its pleasures. So here I encourage you to take time with the sensation of pleasure whilst dancing.

Enter the space with only the intention of following your desire to move ...
.... what draws you?
.... what movement gives you pleasure?
.... what physical sensations in dancing do you enjoy?

... allow yourself to dwell in these kinaesthetically resonant places, enhancing them through your attention and your enactments...

Video: 'Drifting'- the dancer and camera move together in an open improvisation.
Video images from three versions of this open improvisation are layered together and given a colour 'effect' through FCP to echo the sensual pleasures of dancing whilst drifting through.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Transformations 3: skin and image

Developing the 'becoming insect' improvisation (below) to focus in upon the sensations on/of the skin.

Imagine ants crawl across your hand, arm, shoulder..
                                       they move across your check, back...
Imagine a swarm covers your body...

Let the sensations evoked give rise to movement...
note the changing texture of the skin, pay attention to the detail to the smallest (re)action.
(This task is inspired by butoh practices)

Video: Becoming Insect 2 - Ant
(two versions of this improvisation are overlayed - one filmed in close up, the other mid shot. A 'strobe' effect is added to echo the internal sensations not otherwise evident in the image)

Transformations 3: skin and image from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Transformations 2: becoming 'animal'

Three improvisations that evoke contrasting physical states .......

Becoming 'insect'....
Becoming 'reptile'...
Becoming 'bird'...
Working with the image of these creatures as an internal stimulus work to embody them.

Build upon the sensations these evoke in your body - the tendencies, tensions, twitches, twists and turns... such that you respond to and dwelling in, becoming 'animal', becoming 'other'.

Use the images of 'becoming animal' not to provide form, but to provide the inspiration. 

Video 1: Becoming 'insect' improvisation
(camera on dolly with quick shifts in position to echo the properties of the movement)

transformations 2: becoming 'insect' improvisation from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Video 2: Becoming 'reptile' improvisation

Transformations 2: becoming 'reptile' improvisation from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Video 3: Becoming 'bird' improvisation
(camera on a dolly enabling the shot to move with and around the dance)\

Transformations 2: becoming 'bird' improvisation from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Transformations 1

What is it to be in a constant state of 'becoming'?

What is it to 'transform', or to be 'transforming'?

Becoming Animal
Lay upon the floor. Eyes closed. This journey to the vertical is like a tracing of evolutionary development… working through images of animals you explore the possibilities of movement, of locomotion, as if your bodily structure were that of another creature. Remember you are not trying to ‘be’, but rather you are seeking to explore the bodily co-ordination that emerges for these structures.

A single celled organism… like jelly held in a membrane…
Gradually you start to sense appendages, cilia and fins that can create locomotion.
Like a snake you undulate.
Appendages become limbs… like a salamander or lizard.
Finding ways to lift your belly off the earth… you might find yourself as if a four footed creature – a cat perhaps… tumbling, jumping, playing.
Beginning to sit… your pelvis hangs between your legs… deep folds in the hip sockets – a low squat… you propel yourself across the floor… the ape in you takes form.
Extending upwards… homo erectus... your hip and shoulder joints open… two feet taking you forward… your arms reach to the sky.
Reverse the journey.
(adapted from Andrea Olsen)

Stills: from becoming animal
(selected still images from 'stages' in the improvisation process)

Video: from becoming animal
(timelapse of all the images taken through one cycle of the 'becoming animal' improvisation)

Transformations: 'Becoming Animal' Improvisation from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Journeys 6

In No One Place
Being everywhere and no where in the body all at once.....
       ..........every one of your trillion-billion cells activated all at once (as Deborah Hay might describe it!)

Video: Unedited, static shot, placed in a black frame.

Untitled from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Dwelling and Moving On
Finding a vocabulary, a way of moving... 
stay with this material..
.... what is the nature of it? Where is it? How does it 'move'?

Note when another impulse draws you. (You may choose to to go in this new direction or let the moment pass...)

When ready...
......Establish a new area of exploration ... a new way of moving, new material in which to dwell...
....finding a 'thing', stay with it, shift on.....
      ......dwelling and moving on .... dwelling and moving on.

Video: two lightly edited versions of this improvisation are layered into a composite image such that 'dwelling' and 'moving on' begin to merge.

Untitled from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Journeys 5

Interior Routes and Pathways.

Imagine a small marble ball is inside your body - rolling along bones, around joints and through sinew. As the ball follows its’ own pathways, your body at these locations reacts to its’ presence, whilst other parts of the body remain largely unaffected.

…imaging two balls at once……the ball(s) shifting from the inside to the outside of the body and back again.

Video: Following pathways in the body - speaking/dancing version 

Internal journeys movement improvisation: tracing a ball rolling through the body from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Video: Following pathways in the body - camera / dancing version

Internal journeys movement improvisation: 'ball rolling' task from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Journeys 4

Traversing through space together...
Dancer and Camera both directing and following lines of travel, forging pathways through space.

(This could be a game between two dancers - neither is leader nor follower - it is an interactive exchange)

Video: A game traversing space between dancer and camera
(Lightly edited, filmed at mid height, with a dolly)

Improvisation: Dancer and camera traversing through space togther from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Journeys 3

Traversing the Space. Shifting planes.
Traveling across the studio from left to right, whilst paying attention to both the vertical and horizontal...

Video: 3 Journey's placed together on screen

Untitled from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Journeys 2

Working with an awareness of your spatial geographies ...
Take a journey from one place to another.
From floor to standing
From one point in the studio to another
From the vertical to the horizontal
From the left to the right
From up to down

..... whilst dancing note the pathways you take to complete this journey .... try the most (in)direct route.

Video: From the vertical to the horizontal
(Tim filming and small edit to cross fade between moments in the journey)

From the horizontal to the vertical: improvisation from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Journeys 1

Noticing a place from which to begin...
Revisit this same starting place several times.
Each time note the journey in, through and of your body that this same starting point gives rise to.

Video 1:
A journey starting from the an awareness of balancing weight across the feet
(Recorded on a Flip camera which is held in my hand whilst improvising)

Interior Journey - An improvisation task / experiment from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Beginnings 3: Journey

Two short improvisations that both start from a rise in the thumb! 

Starting from this pre-selected point in the body the task is to note the movement possibilities that emerge shaped by this starting point.

Video 1: Starting from a rise in the thumb 1!
(unedited footage filmed by Tim Halliday)

Untitled from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Video 2: Starting from a rise in the thumb 2!
(unedited footage filmed by Tim Halliday)

Improvisation: Beginning from a rise in the thumb! from Vida Midgelow on Vimeo.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Beginnings 1

Stand, lay, sit in any position
Take time to find an inner 'stillness,
then draw your attention to the internal landscape of the body.....
noting, noting what draws you...
         A twitching in the belly, a tension in the fingers, a drop in the shoulder, a catch in balance....

Photos: 'Trying to capture a series of first moments .....'