I had a rather full day on Friday. It began with a meeting and brainstorm session with Jenny Salisbury, then playtime with Scott Moyle, and then watching Such Creatures at Theatre Passe Muraille. It was a great day for the project. We came up with some answers, like more exercises for the experimentation period, and came up with many more questions which are helping to more specifically determine what we’re going to address during the 18-week experimentation period.
My time with Jenny began as an interview where I asked her about her impressions of fight scenes. Not surprisingly, she had a lot of the same frustrations that Emily did (not surprising because they seem to be the same frustrations we all have when watching or directing fights). More interesting, though, is that Jenny had very different solutions for addressing these problems. As Matt was home, we got some of these ideas on their feet immediately, using a fight we had choreographed and performed last summer. The different nuances exposed during this work were quite striking, and one thing became very clear: this kind of work requires that the performers know and be confident with the choreography, their own bodies and their partner. In fact, I might be so bold as to say that this work would be very difficult, if not almost impossible, with people who have any fear of their use of the weapon and the movement. The exploration can’t quite happen until you’re “off book” with your actions and technique. It’s a bit like a road trip: if you’re thinking a lot about how to drive the car, you’ll still get from point A to point B, but you won’t have the mental space to enjoy the scenery or to have a decent conversation on the way.
I’m very excited about future sessions with Jenny. Our plans include exploring movement systems, and looking at various learning styles