Kevin came into rehearsals with ‘briefs’ (physical instructions) as starting points to find movement material for different scenes. In many cases, he refrained from explaining how these related to the theme in a bid to keep things genuinely exploratory, open and alive. This approach led to the creation of four duets “Sparks” which did not make it into the final piece but which furnished movement material for the nurturing Mother-daughter duet between Becky and Naomi and the dialogue/argument in Becky and Danny’s Lightbulb dance.
- Imagine you have an electrical charge running through your body that gives you and anyone you touch a tiny shock. Work in pairs facing each other. Take turns to initiate contact, each time hand-hand but in different spatial dimensions – in front, to one side, behind your back, above your head – and using just one hand, two hands, the back of your hand, the heel, palm, finger tips.
- Find ways to make and break contact with a partner’s hands. Have one of you lead and the other follow. What partnering moves develop from each contact? (a lean, a spin, a balance, a hold, a suspension, a flick, a coil, a reach, a travel, a fall, a pull, a push)
- Choose a starting connection and develop a phrase as though you are allowing the energy transmitted to flow between and through you until it slows and fades.
- Increase the energy level. Can hand-hand contacts generate swinging turns, lifts and jumps powered by these tiny electrical sparks?
- Develop a ‘lead and follow’ sequence with a partner, changing the space and dynamic of the hand-hand points of contact each time to lead to different partnering moves. Change the leader and follower part-way through to create a clear switch of control. Each phrase should be initiated with an electrical exchange, so take as much care planning transitions as you do with the movements themselves. How can you rotate, swing and collapse your partner? Can you get them moving slowly, fluidly, in staccato or sustained manner?
Watch the series of duets in Forgetting – one clinging on, the other trying to shake them off. Try out your own phrases where the relationship need is unequal and contact not always welcome. What sort of exchange is happening? Is it cooperative, confrontational, dismissive, respectful, aggressive, nurturing? What is the nature of the wordless dialogue?