Intentions of Movement

By: Elyssa Berg

This week Laila, Nicole, and I spent a good amount of time exploring movement through improvisation. During a specific exercise Nicole had Laila and I improvize while focusing on specific body parts that she would call out. We explored movement through body parts including the hands, feet, pelvis, lungs, and even the kidneys. With such an extended amount of time to focus movement using a specific part of my body I found it easy to explore. I was finding new ways to lead with that body part, use it as a space hold, put weight on different parts of it, and use it to initiate other movement in my body. There was a clear purpose to my movement as I was focused on how I could use the specific body part in new ways.

After this exercise we wrote about which body part was our favorite to focus on, which was our least favorite, and why this was. One of my favorite body parts to move with was my toes. I found different ways to move on my toes, different ways of following where my toes were leading, and it was easy to allow the rest of my body to relax and follow without restricting other movements. Another one of my favorites was moving with my ear. It is not usually a body part that I think of as influencing my movement so I thought it was enjoyable to focus on as I surprised myself with the outcome. My least favorite body part to move with was my elbow. When I was moving with my elbows I felt like I was focusing so much on the specific movement of the elbow that my body wasn't able to respond and react to the movement; making me feel stiff and contained.

Once Laila and I decided what our favorite and least favorite body parts to move with were we were given the task of creating two phrases, one with our favorite body part and one with our least favorite. I chose for my least favorite body part my elbow and for my favorite body part my toes. When going into this exercise I figured that it would be more difficult to create a phrase with my least favorite body part than it would be to create one with my favorite. It turns out that i was completely wrong about this. Going into this task I had no intensions for the phrase with my elbow to be anything that I would like, for it to be interesting, or for it to be easy to create. My phrase actually came naturally and after I had previously written down why I didn't like using that body part I was able to change my approach to my movement making it more enjoyable. When I started creating my phrase using my toes I had a lot of difficulty. I felt like I put a certain expectation on what the phrase needed to be. I thought that because it was my favorite it had to be an amazing phrase using everything I had discovered when I improvised. It turns out that my expectations and intentions on what I thought my movement should have been greatly effected the creative process.

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