My week training at the Centre for Psychophysical Performance Research started as usual with a train to the airport, and a coffee at the gate. I left Switzerland and flew into Manchester, directed to Huddersfield University on the 16th of April, and met with Ben Spatz the following Monday.
We shared mutual ideas and expectations about the week of work that we had planned, and then started working on embodiment and movement research. Ben had a clearly structured idea of the contents he wanted to address with me, and of ways his technique could pour into my personal embodied research. The first day of training ended after three hours of solid movement work. I woke up on Tuesday with sore muscles, yet I realized it was long since I had felt that my body had worked so intensively to fashion my acting, ideally to enhance my dramatic singing. As opera singers, we tend to focus more on the voice than on the body, thus neglecting the undisclosed potential of a subjective research irradiating from our body. On Tuesday, we worked on lines of actions, and I introduced some movements I was thinking to incorporate in my staging. On Wednesday I worked on my own in the studio, and tried to concentrate on an unaccompanied song by Cage, observing to what extent the embodied rhythm of the song could develop the song itself. On both days, I had access also to the music facilities at Huddersfield University, so kept my dialogue with my monodramas through musical internalization. The potential that comes out of this kind of approach is huge, and I feel like so far I have only explored the tip of the iceberg.
On the last day, Ben and I worked individually sharing the same space, then connected and disconnected through action, and always maintaining the same flow. I believe this embodied work, along with the principles I have acquired this week and reinforced during individual practice disclose endless possibilities for operatic acting and performative appropriation of a role. At the NORN conference I could then show how my research could plug into operatic acting training and was grateful for the feedback received. I look forward to getting to work and write more on the subject.
Huddersfield is a nice town, and especially its people make the difference: friendly and caring, they always have a smile on their faces. Moreover, the sun blessed me nearly thoughout my whole stay, and that allowed me to enjoy some quiet walks in the countryside. Below are a few pictures from my discovery of Yorkshire.