After Martin’s seminar yesterday on Practice as Research, where he encouraged us to think about the ways we’re watching the work in the studios and how we communicate what we see, I recalled being in Riccardo’s rehearsal the previous evening. While cueing the sound for a run through of part of a sequence he noticed his phone and jokingly asked the dancers, ‘Who’s tweeting about me?’ Laughing, he asked again, ‘Come on, who’s tweeting about me?’ One of the dancers had taken some pictures a few minutes before and had just sent them out on Twitter.
It made me think about the speed at which we can communicate our ideas to each other — very different from even a few years ago. How, if at all, has this shifted the way we verbalise our ideas and has it, indeed, shaped the process of observing and reflecting itself?
When I enter a studio to ‘observe’ can I allow myself to ‘arrive’ in the space, to be ‘present’ to allow an experience to happen? Or do I ‘snatch’ or ‘grab’ at a moment — already shaping it to be communicated before I’ve really allowed it to happen?
Martin Buber wrote a dialogue between two men discussing whether experience can be transmitted through the written word (Buber 1957: 7–9). He suggests that the ‘potentiality of form’ is already present in every experience, but that what is written is entirely dependent on the full engagement of the person in that experience. Thus he describes the painter who ‘paints with all his senses’, whose ‘seeing is already painting’.
Certainly giving myself time to settle, to be present in the room, to ‘absorb’ what I’m experiencing seems essential…