DRAWING CIRCLES, 2009
DRAWING CIRCLES A CHOREOGRAPHIC PROCESS
We live in a linear society, where we walk in lines, we wait in lines, and we remain sitting at 90° angles for very long periods of time. We could even say that we are trained for our happiness or meaning to be linear. In contrast, the body is a living series of lines and points that move in circles. The natural process of the body is cir- culatory, and thus the movement of the body follows this internal movement. The joints and hinges of the body move in circles. For example, the knees, the wrists, the ankles, the arms, the legs. When you explore these movement points, the possibilities for movement phrases are infinite.
1. Phrase A, executed while you remain in the same standing position: Find six movement points : for example, the wrist, the head and the hip. Join these points and explore the size of circle, from small to large, and also the direction of the circle (from L to R or from R to L). There can also be variations in the angle - the circles can be drawn parallel to the ground, or on a slight angle, or at an extreme angle, or perpendicularly. Any changes in angle will require a change in different bodily position. These three points are your movement phrase A.
2. Phrase B, executed while you move around your standing circumference, drawing circles around your body as it remains the center of the circle. Take your six move- ment points, but execute them inversely. So, instead of 1-2-3-4-5-6 you are moving from 6-5-4-3-2-1. Then, try to increase the scale of your circles so that they create movement that move your body, and not just your movement points. For example, a circle in the wrist could be increased so that it is actually a grand circle of the arm that rotates your upper torso. This series of gestures is your movement phrase B.
3. Phrase C, where you explore the space beyond your own body, the larger circles that propel you from one static point in space to the next. Now, find five points in space. For example, some points would be, the end of the table, a hole in the large white wall and the third shelf in the bookshelf. Instead of walking from one point to the other, using the knowledge you already have from creating circular phrases A and B, find circular pathways that lead you from one point in space to the other. You can initiative movement in space with various points of your body, your elbows, ear, neck, or toes. As you These five points in space are your movement phrase C.
4. Phrase D, where you vary the scales of your gestures from internal to external, a kind of re-loop of gestures that you have already created. Phrase A, B and C were all exercises in creating circles with your body within a specified scale of movement - small to medium to large. Take two gestures from A, two gestures from B, and two gestures from C. Mix and match, play with order and connections and explore the idea of range.
5. Now explore variations of the order of phrases, while playing with repetition. This will extend the life of the movement phrases into greater complexity and time. For example... A A-B B D B-A C-D B-D- B-C-D A-D A-B-C-D D-C-B-A B A
6. Incorporate other mediums - invite friends to draw circles of your movement circles, or to amplify the sound of your circles, or to create their own circles. The idea of drawing circles can be translated to different mediums, times and events.
This is a transcription of the choreographic process which was used to create the performance “Drawing Circles” by Beau Rhee Presented at X-Initiative, DIA Foundation on the 2nd of September 2009, New York City.