Dance artists Greer Whillans, Jenn Edwards and Carolina Bergonzoni write about the work they have been developing during the spring edition of 12 Minutes Max, which can be seen at a free studio showing on April 11 at 6pm.
I naively began this 12 Minute Max process investigating the relationship between vulnerability and authenticity. Yes, I know, a very ambitious task indeed. I knew it wouldn’t be simple and I knew I would be challenged in many, many ways. Little did I know quite how much! I began my first rehearsal thinking…. Oh no, what have I gotten myself into… Of course I knew these two topics were hefty, but I hadn’t taken into consideration, that in order to investigate thoroughly, I’d have to go there myself, connect and generate movement from those places. It was in those moments that I was most grateful to have such supportive, lovely, open hearts to share the studio with. They helped me tremendously to make this task less intimidating and open up the discussion. We discovered so many wonderful and surprising things in our individual movement and as a collective. We’ve been exercising improvisational techniques as a means to settle into our bodies and get connected to the task at hand. The improvisations reveal questions that continue to lead us down many different roads. Discussions naturally develop such as: how and when are you authentic in your reactions? How does one recognize if someone else is being authentic? How do you allow yourself to be vulnerable? And under what circumstances? Or at what cost? Most recently the idea of using voice was introduced. This obviously excited and terrified us all at the same time. Dancers don’t usually talk on stage! We move… that’s why we became dancers. Nonetheless we are tackling it in the spirit of exploration. While the April 11th preview date rapidly approaches and the 12 Minute Max time limit seems not nearly long enough to share all that we have discovered, I’m grateful for the encouragement and challenge to explore, experiment and get lost in the chaos of playing.