Saturday, July 5, 2014

Master Class with Sarah Rose Graber: Movement Master (@srgraber)

Mathew and Sarah Rose Graber at the Royal Conservatory
Recently I have gotten in touch with nature; becoming a bird and flocking with others; uniting almost upon instinct in order to serve the greater good. It was an experience like no other… all in the name of theatre. That was the day I learned what “flocking” really means.

What a blessing it was to have Sarah Rose Graber come in and work with us on devising using techniques based in movement. Among the exercises we participated in were “thumbs”, “line up”, “flocking”, and “chair duets”.

A couple of things we learned were that often a leader is, and needs to be, a follower. The reiteration of this fact hit me deeply. Often times, especially in theatre, collaboration is key. In order to increase productivity, promote innovation, and spark creativity, we need to make way for each other’s ideas; which is something made apparent early in our devising process. Another thing is that on occasion, others will see something in your idea that’s different, and although it really holds no similarity, it can move your work in an intriguing direction you’ve never expected, which is truly a beautiful thing to behold.

Movement based devising was nothing short of a blast. It’s much different from creating and developing scenes off of ideas, which has been the bulk of our devising process thus far. “Chair duets”, for example, called for us to choose very pedestrian moves (either random or in reaction to our partner) and perform them for the class; after which the class would decide what type of scene/relationship they saw and we would then proceed to perform the “scene” to the different interpretations and see an organic form of development.

Also, and what was perhaps everyone’s favorite, was the “flocking” exercise. For those who don’t know, the exercise is almost parallel to “follow the leader” in a way that changed the leader every time someone new was at the front of the group. That was interesting because it displayed the relationship between productivity and success; a positive relationship that ensues from relinquishing everyone’s desire to be the “leader”. It was wonderful to see everyone willingly lead and follow when called upon to do so; and being called to follow isn’t an idea that’s normally emphasized in life.

The class was simply a joy to be a part of. The fact that we got the opportunity to partake in a new way of doing something none of us are really experienced in made it something really special. Hopefully the lessons we learned will continue to stick with us during the next month and a half as we go forth in collaborating to create something we hope is truly inspiring.

Thank you Sarah! Until next time…

God Bless Everyone!!!
-Mathew San Jose

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