LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #69 – Not doing

I mean not doing in the Daoist sense of wu wei: not doing anything more than what is necessary. The opposite of overacting and of ad-libbing when this is unnecessary and not contemplated by the director/choreographer. Of course, it’s wonderful that performers make personal contributions, but if they get carried away, the performance can end up losing cohesiveness and become a string of individual moments. Wu wei is a Daoist concept that literally means non-action, and refers to doing only that which is in harmony with the Dao, that is, with nature. When we liberate our actions from our wishes and instead play our appropriate role as events unfold, we leave behind our small will to become part of the bigger will of the whole. For sure, it’s sometimes not so easy to know what the path of the Dao is… but practice goes a long way.

 

 

María Ferrara