LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #39 – real-time composition

Real-time composition is the process of improvising composition, that is, composing in real-time in front of an audience. The essence of improvisation is being present in the moment and in the development of events one by one. On the other hand, the essence of composition is viewing the whole that is created by combining elements. The two seem to contradict each other. Ruth Zaporah, creator of the Action Theater methodology offers a way to bring the two together by improvising as if you’re walking backwards, “You can see where you’ve been, but you can’t see where you’re going. But what you see does affect where you’re going” (The Improvisation of Presence, Ruth Zaporah). Interestingly enough, this matches the way in which the Aymara people of the Andes and the Tuva People of Siberia conceptualize time: the past is in front of us, where we can see it, and the future is behind us, where we can’t see it. Any intention of composing our lives can only be put into practice in real time, because we’ll never get the chance to make adjustments once we see the finished whole. Perhaps we can start making our way through life backwards like the Aymara and the Tuvans.

 

 

María Ferrara

 

LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #34 – Warm-up

All performers warm up, I think. It can be a physical warm up to get their body ready for the actions it will perform. It can be a focussing and tuning into what they’re about to do. It can be a small ritual, as un-solemn as having a coffee. Whichever way, the warm up allows a time for everything to arrive and come together: body, mind and emotional/energetic state. Performers need to be present as they work, totally there with what is happening, with their whole self. This fluid state of relaxed attention is useful also for the everyday. Before jumping into the next task that we need to do, we can allow ourselves some time to warm up and make sure that body, mind and energy are all awake and converging on the task.

 


María Ferrara

 

LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #18 – Presence

An abstract concept that is difficult to define. Outwardly it might come across as a certain self-assurance, poise or magnetism, all valued qualities for a performer. However, these qualities, are only the consequence of, “being present”. This means being here and now with one’s attention and aware of how events unfold moment to moment, both inside and outside us. Thus, presence is the quality implicit being completely there at the time-place coordinates where things are happening. And that’s precisely the position from which the experience of life can be lived to the full.

 


María Ferrara

 

LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #12 – Audience

Without an audience there can simply be no performance. Do we sometimes feel the same about our lives? Does every moment count even if there’s nobody to witness it? An intense use of social media to make our lives public might suggest that we’re depending a lot on an outside eye. In his poem Leap before you Look, W. H. Auden says that “to rejoice when no one else is there is even harder than it is to weep”. Judging by the kind of experiences that are shared most online, he would be right. Can we be our own audience and make every moment of our lives relevant, regardless of being alone, by being present?

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

LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – 90 APPLICABLE THOUGHTS – Introduction

This series shows the usefulness of live-arts concepts and practices for everyday life. This view is not original and can already be found in notions like “All the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare) and Shiva’s cosmic dance that cyclically creates and destroys the universe. These 90 daily posts are based on these metaphors and offer practical inspirations to interact with life. You can find them all together under the category with the same title in the top right-hand corner of any blog page.