body over brain

As Sam and Genevieve mentioned, we're working with Ker Wells this week.

One of the primary focuses of Ker's workshops has been creating a story sequence with gesture and text. In the first week of work, we came with a story of transformation, revelation, or loss, and translated that story into action so that we finished with a non-verbal embodiment of the story.

In the second week of work we were asked to memorize a short text that stimulates and interests us. The task currently before us is to link the text with last week's gesture sequences to form one 'story'.

I don't know if you've ever done this before, but I can tell you that it's hard. My gesture sequence is very specific, and completely different from my text. Smashing them together is a real mind meld. My brain has a hard time understanding the process of putting together two completely different stories. So I started, as Ker suggested, by just moving my body through my sequence and talking my way through my text at the same time. For my simple mind even this is a challenge. But as I do it connections are made that I never would have imagined, and elements are added to each story that never could have some to life when movement and text lived seperately. It's pretty magical.

Today we worked on our own, and then watched as a group while Ker and Sam worked through Sam's sequence. Ker offered so much guidance and support in working this way, I want to relay some of my chicken scratch notes:

The action and the story should make each other clearer, not fight each other

The action informs the story

"We should almost never feel like you're controlling it. It really is just emerging in your hands"

The action helps you figure out how to tell the story

My favourite:

"This kind of work allows your body to challenge the brain for the role of primary driver"

It was pretty amazing to watch Sam work through matching his sequence and his text. When it was great, it really did feel like the body was telling him what to say, like he was getting the text from his actions. I'm not sure how often, if ever, I have experienced that through line with as much clarity.