LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #31 – Pattern

A pattern is a recognizable combination. In the case of live arts, a recognizable combination of events like rhythm, a movement leitmotif or a refrain. Perceiving patterns, saves our cognitive system a lot of time. When we come across something that has already been stored in our memory, we just need to retrieve this information to know what it is, as opposed to having to explore every single phenomenon we come across. The use of patterns in live arts can help connect with the audience, in as far as it gives them a feeling of being in the know, either based on their own experience or on what’s happened earlier on in the performance. On the other hand, if all we are required to do as audience is recognize, the experience becomes pretty passive. For us to engage actively we need a task; there need to be some missing links that we can try to fill in ourselves. Too many patterns make things predictable, which can be both safe and boring. Too few patterns make things unpredictable, which can be both exciting and overwhelming. What is the sweet spot for me at the moment? How do I play in the different areas of my life in order to find this position?

 


María Ferrara

 

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LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #9 – Rehearse

In its most traditional sense, rehearsing means repeating something over and over until it’s performed in accordance to a certain intention. It implies acquiring an action pattern. When in life we repeat certain behaviours, it’s as if we had rehearsed them so that they happen automatically. It can be difficult to shake them off and do something new. However, new actions can also be rehearsed until they become second nature and are ready to be performed for real.

María Ferrara

LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #6 – Improvisation

Improvisation has always been used in live arts, either to generate material that is then set or as an approach to performance. No situation is exactly the same as a previous one and the most appropriate response needs to consider the specific internal and external circumstances at hand, rather than what happened in a previous similar event. That is improvisation. It’s not about acting randomly but about being honest with what is here and now. Considering the brain’s strategy of saving behaviour that has worked in an attempt to be energetically efficient and repeat the success, how much can we actually bypass our patterns and improvise? Conditioning is building up every day. Being true to the moment implies letting go of this buildup ongoingly.

María Ferrara