Reflections on the Three Days with Group One

I cannot believe how tired I was at the end of the three days. I went to bed about 2 hours earlier than I usually do, and that’s after I was falling asleep at the dinner table, even though Maria and Peppe had an AWESOME dessert for us (meringue with cream, bananas and blueberries)!

Over the last three days, there’s been a great deal of personal growth which is then reflected in my work, and vice versa. We’ve spend a lot of time addressing habitual patterns. Looking at them, accepting them, and then introducing new patterns, new possibilities. This was really clear to me in the footwork drills. With my many years of dance, I don’t think about my footwork too much, my feet usually just take care of themselves. During this exercise, though, we were being asked to move in a different way, nothing big, but a subtle difference in the co-ordination and sequence of the use of the foot, hip, and head. It was so hard! I’m rather surprised by how difficult it was for me to use the new movement. I had to very clearly slow down and think about it. It was very interesting to come up against so much resistance, but rewarding because now I have some new options for movement and storytelling.

There was a lot of development in listening skills, but it felt like some of that just went down the drain when we started working some scenes on the last afternoon. Understandable, I suppose. There was a lot to think about: everything we have worked on in the last three days was reflected in those scenes! But back to listening: I’m discovering different layers of listening with the body. And listening (which can involve directing of intent) is not only for my own safety, but it can be used to cue your partner, and to show the audience what is important. Not that I didn’t think listening was important, but I think it’s just as important to recognize other aspects of it, to use as a fight director, teacher and a performer.

Speaking of various aspects, I’m seeing more depth in the Marozzo and Durer pressa. Part of it is that I’ve had some time with them, but I definitely attribute a portion of that to the way Brad has presented the information. He’s taken the enormous amount of information at his disposal, and through YEARS of work, has distilled it into systems which then layer into each other, and developed memory tools which make the vastness of this Martial Art accessible.

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