LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #58 – Estrangement Effect

This term (Verfremdungseffekt) was introduced by Bertolt Brecht to refer to the aim of preventing the audience from reacting to the characters in a play without being aware of it. The fictional nature of stage action is highlighted and the audience is invited to question their emotional reaction to it. In this way the audience becomes witness not only to what is happening in the play, but also to themselves. We can become very involved in our stories, to the point that we are driven by the role we play in them and lose the bigger picture. Can we look at them as an outside witness to gain greater awareness and freedom?

 

 

María Ferrara

 

LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #50 – Responding

Responding is not the same as reacting. Reacting is a reflex action, which addresses the general nature of the situation. Responding implies choice and specificity. This is a relevant difference for real-time composition. Spontaneity is often understood as following the first impulse, something that is generally valued in improvisation. However, if there is the intention of composing something, following the first impulse reduces the possibilities. Allowing the space to really receive the stimulus generates the conditions for a response rather than a reaction. This might at first take noticeably longer, but the more we practice being porous to receiving, the faster we get and the nimbler we become at responding and exercising choice.

 


María Ferrara