September arrives quickly. Karen, Mirae, Lindsey and I meet at the Dance Centre on Davie Street to speak about how we will proceed with the workshops. The workshops culminate in a performance in the Heart of the City Festival on November 3rd. Karen will lead the group through the energy body exercises. This is the subtlest and most specific of the sections and I am happy to hear that I will have more opportunity to learn the intricate transitions and verbal cues needed to guide the embodied meditation. She will also lead the last section of the workshop through the choreography. Our role as mentees is to knit together some of the ideas we worked with on our own in connection to the performance score we will be working with.
Karen mentions Daniel Siegel and his writings on mirror neurons. This is the root of empathy. She brings this up because it ties in with the movement work. I make a note of it, and plan to investigate further as I have yet to read his work.
We speak about finding different ways to travel from the Carnegie Community Centre to SFU World Arts Centre. Last time we did the procession, it was a little longer than anticipated and there was a large crowd at Pigeon Park where one participant was set to sing a song. This is the way we will structure the workshops: choosing tasks in service of the performance script already delineated, and finding ways to maintain certain elements of the dance in connection to certain places along the way.
We speak about bringing back music into the space, and that the rhythm of the drum plays a connecting role in the group dynamic and tone of movement. An issue in the past has been the sharing of acoustic space, so it is imperative to address the sharing of improvised material between drum, guitar and voice. There is also the possibility of the involvement of the SFU Salish drumming and choir outreach program.
The practice of smudging was used at the beginning of the last performance, as it is an act of purification. While Karen has been taught to smudge, we discuss the possibility of asking an elder to come and do a clinic on smudging. We speak briefly of the intersection of ritual and rehearsal in regards to a practice such as smudging.