Well I'm here now. Living in Canada. Doing as the Canadians do. Don't worry I'm not saying "eh" yet. Yet...
Its been about a month of settling in and figuring out my life. Things are still a little unclear BUT I'm slowly starting to figure out my next steps. My stuff arrives this week - YAY!
I'm about 3 weeks fresh from the 2 week workshop I did with my current theatre main squeeze, Maria Wodzinska. We are working on our piece Configurations of a Divine Bitch with the aim of producing it some time next summer or fall. The workshop was super fruitful and wondrous. We explored the Lecoq form mystere and attempted to theatricalize the mysteries of menarche, menstruation, orgasm, pregnancy, birth, menopause, and death. We made lots of beautiful objects and found their rhythms and sounds. We also had heated conversations around gender, how to build language around this exploration without falling into the trap of using binaries and gendered language to describe these biological events, and how often there is a negative reaction towards things associated with womanhood or femininity (those things are often the butt of jokes). In addition to making beautiful things we experimented with the bouffon form in relation to this topic. Leave it to me to always go back into the dirty and gross parts of my imagination even when I'm trying to explore something I hold as... dare I say "sacred." THEN AGAIN I've never been one to be truly reverent to anything. Despite my heavy dedication to Yoga and my craft as a witch, my inner critic and sense of humor are always watching for good material. Does everyone remember the first piece I made?? Ya. Anywho... We are still working on figuring out how to meld these forms together for our piece. I am hoping our next workshop will illuminate that for us.
During the residency we also dove into Grotowski based training. Maria is doing her MA in integrating the techniques of Lecoq and Grotowski for actor training. We are experimenting with implementing that integration to see what emerges. It was pretty rad to relearn some of the Grotowski exercises I know and learn some new ones. We intend to continue this way of approaching training for all our future collaborative projects. Both of us believe so much in the strength of both approaches and hope we can successfully integrate them to make work that is engaging, sublime, and other-worldly.
In a few days Im off to LA to make more objects in my parent's basement for 4 weeks. I was supposed to do two residencies on Toronto Island for the month of July, but unfortunately Toronto Island is under water and won't reopen until the end of July. As a cheap substitute, my parents suggested I come to their house in LA and do what I was planning to do on the island. I guess I traded the private lake beach for the private salt water pool. Plus I get to check out mysore shalas in LA AND eat food at Cafe Gratitude. I'm not sad. Oh and my peanut of a niece lives in LA, shes my bff. #familyfirst
I will probably post some pictures of the stuff I make in LA if it isn't terrible...
For now enjoy the pictures I am posting now.
xoxo Oliver Jane