Tag Archives: workshops

Theatre Of The Oppressed Training, Ecodharma, 2016

Theatre Of The Oppressed Training, Ecodharma, 2016

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Has it really been over a year since our first full training in Theatre of the Oppressed up the beautiful mountain in Cataluyna? And to think of all the adventures in between, where me met old friends and new in Paris for the COP21, went twice to Budapest for the Alternative Actors Series and Rainbow of Desire training, plus returning twice to Spain for Creative Tools of Social Transformation and to attend the Creating Resilience course in Eroles …

But indeed, next week we return to Ecodharma for another intensive training session, this time with TotO graduate Lex Titterington and new-comer Richard Loizou to facilitate alongside George. Richard has this to share:

 

“I am on a journey to explore explore how I can best bring my gifts to create change in the world. This sounds impressive eh? But it has basically involved me being belligerent and doing exactly what I want most of the time. Occupying buildings so I can be free to occupy myself as I liked led me to making jewellery out of scrap copper, this was fun. Friends invited me to share my skills at a social center they had created. An idea was born, “I good at this and its fun” I will buy a van and travel round music festivals teaching people how to make jewellery. And I did, and it was fun. Then I moved into Embercombe, a land based Learning and personal development center. I was planning to spend a winter there, they have lots of wood to burn, I thought. I stayed for seventeen months and became an Education Assistant facilitating their residential school programs. Personal growth and transofmation are now personal and professional passion. By facilitating on Theatre of the Opressed I hope to deepen my understanding of humanity and help create a space in which people can explore themselves and society. I hope to take the skills and techniques I learn and apply them to working with all kinds of people from all kinds of places.”

 

Thanks for sharing Rich!

 

The course is totally booked out after a massive and enthusiastic response, but don’t worry, next year we will be running even more training sessions in the UK, Spain and beyond in an attempt to meet the ongoing demand. Get in touch to bring Reboot the Root’s infamous Theatre of the Oppressed training to a location near you!

An interview with the facilitators of the ‘Creating Resilience’ programme

An interview with the facilitators of the ‘Creating Resilience’ programme

This August, RtR partnered with the Eroles Project to present a two-week course on Creating Resilience … here’s an interview with 3 of the facilitators from that week …

Who are you and what have you been doing here?

L: My name is Lex I work with gardens, permaculture and theatre. I made a set of masks to bring to Eroles to look at deep ecology (connecting ourselves to nature) and Theatre of the Oppressed, in particular to work with refugees. I have been here for a week and it’s been amazing.

G: My name is George, I am a descendant of displaced people from Poland after World War II. I work with Theatre of the Oppressed and before I came here I was extremely burn out from other projects, but having been facilitating here this week I’m feeling fully charged and ready to go.

M: My name is Miranda, I came to Eroles Project last year to create a climate change action for COP21. I was invited to come back this year to work with George and Lex as a facilitator. This week I have really enjoyed working with resilience and sharing some of my work in this field from back home in Oxford. I am really inspired by how these collaboration will continue in the future.

Why do you think this work is important?

G: We live in a culture where the sense of urgency and crisis means that despite our best intentions and wanting to give as much as we can of our self to try to help other people, we neglect the self care that is essential to make resilience possible.

L: It is very important to come here to Eroles, in the beautiful Pyrenees mountains, with our busy lives, especially if we are working in any ‘crisis’ circumstances. It gives us a chance to step back and have a look at our patterns, to be effective with how we are with ourselves for long term sustainability within our actions and life as a whole.

M: And within that for me is flexibility. To be able to learn from our mistakes – to be able to keep shifting and changing, learning and adapting from our experiences. To design new ways of working and to keep developing as the situation around us changes.

What are you taking with you from this programme?

G: I am taking away the realisation that you can leave a residential programme, powered up, recharged, resilient and ready to face the world and its challenges; as opposed to thinking it was an ordeal.

L: I am taking away from this process a deeper sense of resilience, deeper understanding that the more I care for myself the more I can truly care for the planet. I’m deeply fired up with inspiration from connecting with people all over the world doing similar projects, it gives me an amazing sense of the future. This has been beyond words, just wow!

M: A deeper sense of trust in my intuition. Fire to continue to sense what is needed and to respond in a non urgent way, and to take this into my projects back home.

How can this type of experience inform people working in the refugee / humanitarian crisis?

L: I think this work hugely informs how to care for yourself and for the group your are working in. I think it is quite a profound thing to know how to look after yourself. I also think if you are going to work in a camp context it is best to go in full so that you do not need to get your energy from there. One of the ways we can do this is by connecting to the present without plans of where we might expect to get to; and to share this presence with others as fully as possible. When we are relaxed internally we become more aware of what’s happening externally, this enables us to focus on the things that connect rather than separate us.

M: The exploration I brought with me; “to turn judgement into curiosity” was something that has become more of a solid thing during the week, so I want to go everywhere with that intention. When we celebrate our differences and our gifts rather than arriving already with the answers, we can develop solutions from who is there and what is emerging in the moment from the collective intelligence of the group.

G: Figuratively and literally to shut up and listen. Not allowing the language differences to create more barriers between each other. We modeled this this week by focusing on nonverbal communication and the power of being physically together rather than verbalizing everything. Also listening deeply to what is needed in these spaces as opposed to coming with our own presuppositions to what we think ‘they’ need.

If you have to choose a moment that you really struck you from this week what would it be?

M: The collective ritual when we arrived at the cherry tree. Sometimes rituals can feel ingenuine, but this was a beautiful spontaneous expression of everyone’s individual gratitude for life, each one in their own style and tradition. It was very special.

L: Connecting with the birds. Working with the body. Being inspired. One moment in particular, a few of us were up in the open window playing music, but we were all discordant. I suggested we looked out at the sky, instantly we came into accordance through watching the birds as we played; watching their patterns, being inspired by the freedom that is in the skies. Another time at night in the moonshine, our cross cultural musical collaboration felt like beyond the mind, beyond the cords, beyond the planning – letting go so something beautiful can come though.

G: My favourite moment was when we all danced around in a circle connecting our past, our present and our future and it seemed like anything is possible.

The limitless untold stories in you

The limitless untold stories in you

We just finished working with a dozen peoples from the UK, Spain, Hungary and the Gambia in the beautiful mountains of Catalonia at the Eroles Project – Creating Resilience .. This is the first of several blogs produced in response to the experience . From Ruth Cross of the Eroles Project …

I started writing this blog in a sunny cafe in Oostende on the North coast of Belgium at the beginning of August 2016. I was about to show the premier of a new short film at Theater Aan Zee (TAZ), a dynamic city wide arts festival. The film’s title, Post Present Future, is named after the letter project I’ve been working on for the past seven years of my life. The project is centred around a simple task where people sit at a beautiful old bureau to write a letter to their future self. The instructions are simple too – ‘Take some time to reflect on the narrative of your life and what stories surround you? What are your hopes, concerns and dreams, now and for the future?’ My commitment to each of the people who write is to keep the letters for five years and then to post their letter back to them.

For TAZ 2016 we did a special edition of Post Present Future; we hand delivered the letters. For the first time this meant that I could experience people’s responses as they opened their letter and in their own handwriting read the advice, questions, doubts and promises they’d written as their younger selves. The film captures these tender and delicate moments.

Bearing witness to the fragility of daily life and the grief, the loss, the joys that mark the passing of time has provided an apt backdrop to be thinking about what resilience means in preparation for Creating Resilience, the next programme at Eroles Project, in the Catalan Pyrenees, Spain.

I hope to find a way to hold on to the sense of the strength that I witnessed arising from people’s vulnerability. Many of us have had challenging moments in our lives, many of us have overcome these challenges and moved forward, moved on, moved up. One of my reflections from witnessing people of all ages reading their letter is the self acknowledgement that emerges from hearing their own words from the past. Many of the readers spoke of how the insights had given them more confidence in their ability to live well. For why wait until your death bed to reflect on the way you’ve lived your life? This experience offered the perspective that life is constantly changing, and that all along we have the resources to adapt. Bringing consciousness to the ways we do that, for me, is the art of developing resilience.

The second part of this blog I wrote during the windows of time that facilitating on a residential programme allow, refining these words in my bedroom, looking out over the mountains, fired up after sessions. It has enabled within me a deeper reflection on the collective process and I’m glad to be able to share it with you.

Maria, Ally and myself are facilitating week one of Creating Resilience here at Eroles. Our shared background and connection stems from Schumacher College, a transformative learning centre for sustainable living based in Devon, UK. We bring different qualities and ways into this work but each hold an inquiry into the spaces inbetween, the process of self transformation and how to consciously move from self to collective. During the preparation sessions before the course begins we identify that we are more up for creating the container for a ‘live’ exploration of resilience than to be seen as slick professionals teaching the techniques.

We design the week using key principles of resilience: flexibility, fluidity and diversity, moving from order to the fertile space at edge of chaos where ecosystems thrive. This, along with some guiding values of acceptance, letting go, self responsibility, adaptability, compassion and authenticity shape the overarching exploration and form the main areas of practice.

Between the three of us there are tensions before and during the week as we model moving from order to the edge of chaos. Transitioning is a tricky business. The main points of friction occur as we balance tendencies to pre-define the shape and purpose of the week (through tried and tested methodologies) with courageously going off-script and trusting that by inviting magic, it will come.

On Monday participants from Spain, Hungary and the UK arrive. I am struck by how immediate the connection is, how trusting and warm the culture is that we co-create.

Before the first morning check-in we listen to John O’Donohue, the late Irish poet, who in his soft lyrical voice calls our attention to the distinction between our biography and our identity.

“There is a place in the soul — there is a place in the soul that neither time, nor space, nor no created thing can touch… what it means is, that in — that your identity is not equivalent to your biography. And that there is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there’s still a sureness in you, where there’s a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you. And I think the intention of prayer and spirituality and love is now and again to visit that inner kind of sanctuary. Time again I look at a pretty face telling me their well rehearsed story and I think that doesn’t even touch the surface of all that you are.”

Following on from this we sit in a circle and are invited to share our story of how we come to be here. Then comes the repeated question – if that is not your story what is? We answer until we begin to shake free of the habitual response, the story we have told so many times over the years that it has shaped our behaviour and thoughts, and becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

If we can be attentive to the moments when we get caught in our habitual story whilst cultivating nourishing patterns, we can change our thoughts and behaviour. That in itself is powerful, and quite a revelation when put into practice.

Our actions in every moment, and our words in every conversation, change the story. By living our life by this principle we have the power to decide if we want to perpetuate a cultural pattern or not. How do we choose to respond when working in an organisation with time pressure and hierarchies, face injustice, experience police violence; when power is taken by another or urgency becomes the dominant narrative. By stepping into the shoes of another, we can feel how far have they walked.

Many times this week I have thought about how to put all of this into practice in the ‘real’ world. Maria reminds us that there is no separation between the world ‘in here’ and the world ‘out there’. This false dichotomy implies that change happens out there in some other moment or place rather than right now in the dynamics of this group, in Eroles, as in a Syrian village or in a refugee camp. Let’s not get caught in hierarchies, but know that positive change happens in the now with people making conscious choices.

“Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

Reposted from http://www.erolesproject.org/#!The-limitless-untold-stories-in-you/c1zje/57b33fce0cf29e5ebbfd2d5a

 

Solidarity Is Our Weapon – RtR Newsletter August

Solidarity Is Our Weapon – RtR Newsletter August

Dear friends, allies and accomplices,

Hello to you all! Welcome to our irregular Reboot The Roots newsletter …

In these times of Brexit and growing hostility to persons from other places, RTR proudly stands for solidarity with all oppressed peoples, and continues to champion the use of creative arts practices to promote multicultural harmony. We believe in direct action and unremitting creative resistance to all forms of domineering behaviour.

As long as there is an oppressed, we are on their side.

It has been one of our busiest years yet, with over a dozen new associate artists and facilitators sponsored by RtR to do what they do best – create and facilitate social and personal transformation through the arts! However, a key feature of that work this year has been to do with self-care, burnout, and creating resilience.

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Highlights include:

-workshops for 60+ people at the COP21 protests in Paris in December, taking a de-escalation bloc (BEEVA BLOC!) to the streets in clown-army fashion to keep the cops on their best behaviour whilst supporting the family friendly and accessible atmosphere.

– a dozen change-agents from across Europe trained in theatre of the oppressed at Ecodharmain October, exploring how we can use Rainbow of Desire and forum theatre to promote unity and liberation.

– we visited Budapest twice to deliver a two-week theatre project around the theme of response to the refugee crisis, returning again to explore therapeutic theatre for healing in February.

– we funded artists to attend festivals in Switzerland and Greece to exhibit their artworks and perform in autonomous spaces, in support of anti-elitism and prisoner solidarity.

– we supported facilitators to return to Cluj in Romania to deliver workshops on the feedback method, feminist history and theatre for social change.

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But we’re not through yet!– in August, RtR is partnering with the Eroles Project to facilitate two weeks of arts-activism on the theme of borders and creating resilience in these troubled times, providing funding and training for a team of facilitators to work with a team members to explore how to keep on keeping on in the face of burn-out and sometimes overwhelming resistance.

– still upcoming this year, we will rejoin Focus Atelier for the inaugural platform event in Chiesenau, in the Republic of Moldava. This will be the first time RtR and Associatia Reciproca are holding this event in one of the poorest countries in Europe.

– we hope to attend the Berlin Tattoo Circus in September with associate artist Sierra Weppla and Creative Director George Wielgus to support prisoners and generate dialogue around the injustice system through Theatre of the Oppressed.

– for this year’s Theatre of the Oppressed Training Week in Ecodharma, Cataluyna, we want to sponsor two emerging facilitators to attend to expand our network and support their development as trainers and artists.

– in 2017, we will launch the Ouroboros Exhibition in London – our first major UK Project – featuring a range of multidisciplinary artists with experience of social exclusion. The theme is around creative responses to the destructive nature of crisis. Watch this space for the upcoming indiegogo campaign and future updates.

 

 

How You CaTeatru-Forum-si-Teatru-Invizibil-Focus-Atelier-44n Help

– join us! On September 4th we are having our annual general meeting for all our members and supporters. More details to follow but feel free to write to us to express an interest.

Solidarity is our weapon. Come vote on our decisions, stand to be a trustee, pitch us an idea, get involved, you are most welcome, the house is yours!

– share our website & social media to promote our work

– write something for our blog on your experience. Did you attend a workshop or performance? Has RtR helped you? We would love to hear about it …

sign up as a regular donor … as little as £2 a week will help us to continue to support the development of artists with experience of social cohesion, assisting them to gain access to new audiences and achieve our vision of a united, multicultural society.

bung us some cash … one-off donations make up nearly 50% of our funding each year. Maybe you participated in one of our free workshops and enjoyed it, maybe you were funded yourself to attend something, now we need your contributions to make these amazing events keep happening!

– watch out for our upcoming indiegogo campaign to raise £3500 to host a multidisciplinary arts exhibition in Tower Bridge in 2017, featuring a range of artists from socially excluded backgrounds.

We couldn’t do this without each other,

Love and solidarity, and many thanks to all the people who have touched our lives,

The RtR Bloc

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Over The Rainbow

Over The Rainbow

George, the Creative Director of RtR, was in Budapest for three days delivering an intensive course about Rainbow of Desire …

The Budapest crew!

Expect to cry. I now understand the emotional release of tears during a workshop is a sign that things are going well. It sounds bizarre, borderline perverse, but I now suspect if I ran a course in Rainbow and someone didn’t cry, I must be doing something wrong.

From Friday we used the Analytical Mirror to explore moments of indecision (which job to take, whether to move to another country with a partner), to Saturday when we applied the Rainbow itself to discussing a moment of rejection by a former lover, to Sunday’s exploration of ending a relationship that has become addictive, but toxic, through the Cop In The Head. Each time, despite moments of levity and joy, a palpable atmosphere descended upon the group, one of intense listening and focus as the protagonist battled with concrete versions of their doubts, fears, desires, talking them around into transformation.

My heart was in my throat throughout each presentation, as the responsibility of bringing people into some highly emotive states rested squarely on my shoulders, but I am relieved and joyful to report that, as ever, people emerged from the experience reporting release and relief, and often, a little better understanding of themselves.

Collaborating with Ruth Cross also provided a great foundation to the emotional work involved in the afternoons. Ruth facilitated some incredible sessions involving massage and power, and I look forward to working with her again in Ecodharma in May.

Equally, organiser Andras was amazing, managing with the help of his team to clean out and prepare a semi-derelict cafe space for us to use the basement of- replete with carpet tiles, heaters and lights!

I was thrilled to see so many of the people we worked with in November return, and hope to see them all again very soon to continue our journey. There are plans for subseqent workshops in Budapest, plus I have invited them all to join me in Cluj next month for a week of forum theatre training, and aswell there is Tu Fuokan festival coming up in June. It’s shaping up to be quite a year!

 

“True power lies within finding compassion … “

“True power lies within finding compassion”

Ruth Cross of Cross Collaborations and the Eroles Project joins us in our return to Budapest to deliver a course in Rainbow of Desire.

 

It’s 10pm on Wednesday night and I’m in the basement of an old club in the heart of Budapest. It’s covered in a thick layer of dust & colourful graffiti and now used for underground parties and workshops. Thanks to the connections of Andras the workshop coordinator here in Hungary, we’ll be using this space for the Theatre of the Oppressed workshop on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. We’ are moving piles of wood and strange 80’s club furniture, finding lighting, sweeping, mopping… Andras finds some speakers and Ludovico Einaudi‘s soaring melodies giving our mopping a performative rhythm.

I arrived in Budapest yesterday morning, it’s my first time here, and my first time facilitating with Reboot the Roots. Walking round the city at dusk the streets are calm and empty in a way particular to February’s, even in capital cities. The people I’ve met are friendly, couples holding hands and laughing, groups of tourists taking photos of each other in the rain, market stalls vibrant. The architecture is strong, and much more beautiful than I had imagined, the bridges over the river light up the night and give a magical feeling to the divide between Buda and Pest – the two towns that once upon a time joined to make Budapest.

As we work I think of the conversations we’ve been having today about the migrant crisis, oppression, xenophobia, sexual abuse, some of the improvisation themes that I’m told have surfaced in workshops with this group before. I think of the research I have been doing about the lives of women and children refugees as they try to cross borders. I think about the fact that these thing are happening now. I feel the uncomfortableness that thinking about these oppressor/oppressed situations is creating in my body.

I wonder what we will share together in this space during the workshop. What topics will surface as we dive into Boal’s techniques of ‘Rainbow of Desire’, ‘Analytical Mirror’ & ‘Cop in the Head’. I’m aware of the power and depth that these processes hold. I meet an edge within myself of not wanting to experience the pain of other people’s suffering. I breathe and try to stay open to the sensation, not turn away or become numb. This practice of mindfulness sustains my engagement through my waves of nervousness, self doubt, rage.

I reflect that for me true power lies within finding compassion. Feeling the suffering of another (whether the oppressed or oppressor), whilst staying centred, present and grounded in myself. Not reaching in to catch nor running away.

This weekend I hope that we will touch on some real topics of concern for people in the group, and that the techniques we use in the afternoons not only help to reimagine their own situation, but to give people the confidence to take this methodology into the social work they do in Budapest. I hope that trainings like this help changemakers, theatre makers, activists better understand the complexity through which social transformation happens, arming ourselves with the tools and compassion that can forge the radical changes we see are needed in the world. I have come back to working with theatre after many years because I have experienced the potential of methods like Boal’s in creating the right conditions for the dance to begin between transforming oneself and the transformation of society.

Four hours and a considerable amount of dust later, the space is transformed. Still needing a second mop, but pretty much ready for the workshop. As am I.

Rainbow of Desire in Budapest – from George

Rainbow of Desire in Budapest – from George

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So it’s another 6 hours until I take my bus from Liverpool Street to Stansted. Have double-checked my passport and ticket and now just looking over the details on what’s planned for this weekend. This is the first time I’ve run a 3-day Rainbow of Desire course, though I’ve done the individual exercises innumerable times in different forms. I’m very excited to see how it feels to dedicate a whole weekend to this technique. We are planning to look at Cop-In-The-Head, the Multiple Mirror and of course, the Rainbow of Desire itself, but I’d also like to try out such techniques as the Multiple Images of Happiness (what joy) and some others. But time is always so short! Am really glad that Ruth Cross from the Ecodharma/Eroles project/COP21/Beeva change crew is along to co-facilitate. Will let you all know how it goes!

For any of you not so familiar with RoD, you can read more here. It’s a good resource with some nice break-downs of the techniques. I’ll also be sure to post my own notes and responses to what happens on the RtR resources page afterwards. It’s essentially a theatrical technique for examining internalised oppressions – what happens when the cop leaves the ideological barracks and moves directly into our heads. You can read about some of the previous experiences we had with this technique in Ecodharma in our report here and also in Cluj last year, but I’ve included an extract below …

The RoD Technique – a woman has dinner with a man, they are both happy to be reunited after so long. The man invites the woman to sit on his knee, which she does, and then he reveals a ring and proposes to her.

The participant was invited to make images of the emotions she felt at this time: Excited, Shock, Nervousness. The audience suggested two more – Suspicion and Contentment – which the participant accepted. The scene was then replayed with each of these images in the protagonists place. The participant then arranged them into an image, then an ideal image, then dialogued with each of them trying to convince them to become ideal. The images then battled each other.

Participant reported the experience ‘fascinating’ and ‘powerful’, and that it allowed her to reflect on how she was then, compared to how she is now, and what areas of her life she still needs to work on.

The Analytical Image – a mother and child ride home in a car from visiting a friend who hosts many children. A conversation ensues whereby we learn that there is domestic violence between the absent parent and the child, and that the mother does not wish to discuss it. The mother suggests that the only solution is to call social services, who will take the child away and not punish the abusive parent.

The audience made images of the protagonist and the antagonist, which were then pairred off together and the scene replayed. The participant whose scene is was also played the part of the mother, and reported that it helped her understand a good deal more about the dilemma of her mother. She also reported that it was encouraging for her to be able to analyse the images rationally without succombing to emotion.

 

Let’s see what happens in Budapest …

Summer In Hungary (4) – from Iulia Benze

Summer In Hungary (4) – from Iulia Benze

Iulia Benze on her final day presenting a course on Identity Deconstruction at a festival in Hungary.

 

We started the Sunday with a session of Yoga outside, in nature, held by E. and S.

Two new people joined us, Anjan and Andy. Anjan was really worried for her, he asked me if I could help her as she was constantly crying and being depressed. Our entire session (the last one for that series in Cserhatszentivan) changed, trying to include her into the warm-up and Barba sticks. Her will to get into the workshop was very weak, other members tried to include her as well. I instructed her into the Barba Sticks movements, even though she was lacking concentration and it felt she wasn’t there. At a certain moment, in our struggle to connect with her, she hit the lamp smashing it into loads of glass pieces and that seems to have represented for her the relief point and liberation time that she needed. After that, she decided to leave. Anjan remained with us.

We ended our last session with Grotowski movements turning it into an improv free dance contact where we all kept contact with each other until we found an ending on the floor, all silent, still and breathing together. We also had a few minutes of meditation and after that the final discussions.
As a human and artist, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity created to go in Hungary, Cserhatszentivan and facilitate workshops in my own practice. I met wonderful people, professionals in their own domains, and we all laughed and cried together and I was able to share from my knowledge. I am mostly a performer, I never facilitated a workshop by myself before; this time I was oscillating between being a performer and a facilitator and many times I was asking myself if it is going to work, because of the intense nature of the practice. Towards my amazement, it did work, I did manage to keep those entities separated and to make them harmoniously function together, bringing a lot of discipline to me, as an artist and individual. In this new position, I also learnt how to take care of people around me, how to listen and understand their needs.

It was a wonderful experience for everyone and now we are working together towards booking future workshops in Budapest, in November this year.

Summer In Hungary (3) – from Iulia Benze

Summer In Hungary (3) – from Iulia Benze

Iulia Benze reports on delivering an intensive movement and drama course at a festival in Hungary …

We started by cleaning the space and including the new people into the work. We had A. and V. After the warm-up, V. retired thanking us and saying this is ‘not really his thing’.

We continued with Barba Sticks and emotions. Everybody brought their level of emotion to a certain place, E. let go and with control she managed to reach that point that I was talking about.

Taking advantage of the emotional and physical flexibility achieved, next exercise was Loneliness Exercise. I performed in front of them the exercise, taught the movements and then for 10 minutes it was their time to explore the loneliness within themselves. Being in a small space has its advantages, also when 9 people are doing Loneliness exercise in that cramped space it can be very intense and intimate so after that we had a session of discussions about what we discovered, felt etc.
Circle of positive energy. Everybody complimented, positively argued and justified being in a circle and hugged.

After break, we explored ways to climb a person by one or two individuals, preparatory movements for a Photo Project (photographer Roland Kajcsa) that is still in process of editing. A few photos are available already on Facebook.

Summer In Hungary (2) – from Iulia Benze

Summer In Hungary (2) – from Iulia Benze

Iulia Benze reports from the theatrical frontline of a music festival in Hungary …

 

Following day we had the same people coming plus new ones. We were 13 in total. We worked outside in the garden (open space-turned out to be a bit different from the previous day), as we were more people and we couldn’t all fit in the room. Our meeting started from 10am and finished at 3 pm. Introduction of new members, speaking about likes and dislikes. We talked about identity and I filmed them while they were answering the question What is Identity for you?

After warm-up (rotations, spine, push-ups, plank etc), it was time for a new exercise, which was the Slaps. We created a big circle in the garden and we all counted together, as loud as possible, 500 slaps. The levels of concentration and dedication to this type of task differed from one participant to another, which made me launch for them questions about identity in relation to endurance and discipline.

By this point, we had a few of the new people dropping out from the workshop (Kata, Reka and Sophia-for being too tired from the first night of the festival; and Csaba for having other work responsibilities, as one of the organizers of the festival)

We remained 9.

Still outside, we continued with Barba sticks and while I was introducing new people to the principles of this exercise, because of the lack of space, the one day old participants were allowed to tackle this exercise in a different room of the house by themselves, relying on their own discipline, assuming responsibility and taking risks without being supervised. At my suggestion but also listening to their intuition and spirit of exploration, they started alternating hands and vocalizing when playing this. As they admitted as well, it is a different type of experiencing the Barba sticks and the unknown/risk, implicitly fear, increases when the facilitator is not there.

At this stage, the inevitable happened and one of our participants, B, in doing the task with A, got slightly hit in the head, shocking her system and making her feelings and frustration explode. She kept hiding, swallowing her anger, and I continued the game with her to help her letting all out. Everybody stopped and watched, witnessing in amazement the next level they needed to reach with Barba sticks.

After that, we all made a circle in the sunny garden as it was time and we needed to talk. Everybody shared their opinions about Barba sticks, everybody had new discoveries and this time subjects like pain, hit, being hit were talked about. We were happy for the new that just opened and we decided to go inside to continue with Grotowski movements in which everybody was extremely connected to each other and taking care of their partners.

Taking advantage of the heat in our bodies, flexibility was pushed to its limits through exercises and then we cooled down through a massage and care in pairs, opening new levels of excitement, enthusiasm for the next day of workshop to come.