Monday, 12 May 2008

Day off (sort of)

Sunday 11/5/08

Well today it was my day off.
I forgot to tell you which days i was working and which not so that you can call me.
I think intentionally because I am working on the piece even when going to the toilet, having a shower or eating my breakfast. It is in my mind.
I may not be in the studio but I am certainly working.

So what did I do ?
Well first of all, I decided to take a walk in the city. To bring new images to my head. To try to forget about the piece. Enjoy the sun, the warm day and a nice walk nearby the Thames.
In this walk, I had a discussion with Aaron how much we would like to be rich and have a nice house somewhere nearby the river.
And it's then that I thought that this work (=making a solo for myself, where i am the choreographer, performer, musican, space designer, poet etc) is cost effective, easily toured and versatile. In a few words, it's a financial bargain. It also has something to do with circus. Like "look" what I can do at the same time and by that I mean it can still be spectacular even with one person. Isn't that amazing? Why haven't people thought of that before? Well, I know that some people did, but it's not a big number of people still, so I should really take advantage of it now...

Post walk-show
I came back home and watched in video the performance by Miguel Guterriez (an old friend that people think we look like brothers) "Retrospective Exhibitionist". In this piece, Miguel is looking back to his past and recreating his present. He does so by means of a camera, tv, music etc. He becomes both the comedian, musician, performer, choreographer, actor. cameraman etc. I was really fascinated by his skilled and efficient performance. What did I get out of it? If you want people to admire how multitasky you are then the best option is to be fast. Like do not give focus on your technical changes but on the content of the work. Then it doesnt become boring people focus on the merits of the performance but since the changes are so fast and keeps the performance live, people can admire your multitasky character. That ofcourse demands a lot of rehearsals and alertness. And ofcourse calmness during performance.

Some Questions
So there you go once again I ask myself. Should I rehearse on the individual components of the performance and when I have them on a good level try to assemble them? Or should I start from the top with all things together?
And another thing I have. When can I know that the rehearsal was succesful, that I got something good out of it? Like when you are a choreographer, you watch the dancers, you look at what they do and you are happy or not happy with it and ask them to repeat and change some things. Now what? Should I establish some criteria for me that if I meet them, it means that I have worked good??? Any help out there???

Some Responses
I got a great number of responses. I hope they keep up. Most of them had an encouraging tone and some of them a small of an anxiety for your friend.
Sex as a creative process
- A beloved old friend, Maria, suggested me to have sex (so that I become creative). I'll try doing that thanx... Any volunteers? oh no I forgot... It's a lonely creating process... I cant' involve anyone in the creative process. This process is a lonely process. I can only be with myself. I have to abstain from sex... For the next month, I promise not to have sex...
My own words used against me
- Deborah, the director from the school in Germany where I am teaching, reminded me of what I am saying with my students. "what did you say to the students??? Make faster decisions and go with a direction of your decision to find out if thats the right way or not!!! Or something similar.".... This is something I will be taking with me on the rehearsals. I have written it down on a piece of A4 and will have it in front of my eyes all the time so that it reminds me all the time of what I need to do. Just take any decision fast... See its results. Do you like it ? No ??? Have you really tried your best to make it work ? No ? Try harder... Yes??? well then change it ... :)
Goat Island
- Two very beloved friends gave me some quotes to think about. Mariella quoted: "Beware of Brilliance…Look for a sense of humor. Look for conflict resolution skills, forgiveness, the ability to listen, the ability to place faith in other people's fragmented ideas, a comfortability with failure, a disciplined nature and a love of work." (Goat Island:'Letter to a Young Practitioner'). How do I interpret that. Well, let's see. First of all I will also print this out in an A4 and keep it with me, in case I find other interpretations to it in the future. For the time being I believe it says the following: I should accept the "fragmented ideas" of Susan Sontag's book, I should be "comfortable" with my failure, and should consider my problems in creation as conflict that will provide me for resolution skills. There is not going to brilliance. Just work that comes from difficult moments. Well, it might not say a lot, but it's a great thought to keep myself encouraged, i guess.
BE distracted if you can't avoid it
- The second quote from another friend an ex bf, Dimitris, says: "Advice101 TRy something distracting you from what you do, for example take your photo camera and try different white balance exposures". Hmm I'll certainly do that. When I am distracted from work, I'll do something else completely different. Let's see if it works. It sounds weird but it might be very succesful :)
"What are all these questions?"
- Helen smartly posed me questions. "Is this because i am unable to give up/surrender to others/to hand over my work? is it because i want them all fully integrated and i have found that people just can't give the time that i need so that the ideas can advance further?" I don't know Helen. Yes maybe it's because of that. I think I have gotten very disappointed from my relationship with my dancers from the last piece. I would like to try another way. It doesnt' mean though that I am sure that this is a better way. I thought I might just give it a try. For the time being I am very enthusiastic about the process. Like in all beginnings. I'll keep this question with me at the end of the process and try to reply to you, to me again
Love and tender
- Despina, a old student/dancer of mine, gave me her beloved support. She reminded me that she is there for me although she doesnt understand a lot of things from this email. Well, Just as an idea guyz. I am working on the book of Susan Sontag "Regarding the pain of others" where she talks about war photos and the power they have in forming history, politics, memories and affects. She is quite critical to the means. The first picture that I tried to find was one from Virginia Woolf's book "Three Guineas" that she describes a bombed house with mutilated bodies. I am going to be giving a lecture on this book with integrated perfoming and performative events so that it takes the format of a performative lecture. I am doing that on my own. No other person is allowed to be in the creative process. I am learning a lot of things about myself. I am questioning myself. No wonder if in the end of this I end up in Siberia waxing up the inside of igloos. ...It's quite of a hard process...

My commandments for today
I was writing this email yesterday night when I fell asleep on my computer. there you go, already my first rule and I have overruled it. I promise that next time I will stay awake. Put some toothpicks on my eyes I dont know, drink some cofee. Who knows... Anyway... I am really sorry for that. I felt very tired.
I am sending you this though now in the morning. I haven't done any preparation for work today. I think I will work on yours suggestions.
1. I need to start putting them down on a piece of paper. not to forget anything
2. I need to start putting my suggestions down on a separate piece of paper
3. I need to work on making sense Sontag's book. I should not be frustrated that it's not a logical book. I should take advantage of it.
4. I should work harder.
5. I should be distracted when I feel distracted.
6. I should take decisions fast and then try to execute them in the best possible way. Then evaluate and then decide again.
7. I should abstain from sex
8. I should never forget writing my thoughts down nor sleep while doing it.
9. I should try to keep myself creative, keep myself as an artist.
10. I should try to find out why I want a performance lecture and especially on this topic, how does that fit to my "solipsistic" idea ?

A small demand from you
Don't forget to call me. I need you in the creative process... I will be in the studio, late afternoon and evening... Waiting for you. My phone is xxxxxxxxxxx

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