Bebe Miller Company residency at The Ohio State University
6.8.2016 : Morning session
Observations (Part I):
Today I observed most of the morning session of company rehearsal for a new collaboration called “The Making Room”. Collaborators not present at this residency include Susan Rethorst and Lily Skove; Christal Brown and Lila Hurwitz; Darrell Jones and Trébien Pollard; and more maybe? Collaborators in flesh today are Bebe, Michelle Boulé, Sarah Gamblin, Angie Hauser, and Bronwen MacArthur.
I enter to a circle of five speaking what I understand. I settle in.
Then I watch them go.
From the floor. They spread.
I write and sketch as I watch. I moved minutely and thoroughly at my sitting floor, near a wall which was at one point upstage and stage left as Bebe briefly attends “Wait, did I lose my front? I’m imagining it from – ” swiftly returning to what was happening now. I let my mind wander into what this could actually be, or see, or , it continues as it watches them. they are
back to the agreement of go.
I don’t know what Bebe does, but it seems to come from her imagination so I’ll echo her and speak of her ‘imagined’ things, although I’ve no idea if or when that is what.
Begins by referencing her self warm-up earlier. i hear it like: it brought a certain thing to start from that will lead to what comes next.
She moves, definitely not looking at her body. Changes distally a liquid tonic axis and a timing/feel that Sarah describes while exploring it later as ’chunks’ . B moves, putting words to imagination. she separates body from eyes in her intention and action. ideas about the quality of/and/in the body’s choice-making ; as separate from the eyes’ quality.
i watch as she focuses on a light behind me. she moves and describes two ways while definitely not looking at her body. first, it seems as if her eyes sense resonated movement with the inside surface of their sphere , while remaining fixed on the light across the room. then, it’s as if she imagines her eyes searching out and with an accepted, expectant seeing of the light across the room. in this outward focus she then micro-varies between what seems like a knowing of a seen, and the first-eye sight. Michelle likens the latter to a baby as she explores it for herself.
B flows with the unexpected timing of natural rhythm. her eyes move in and out of her being, without changing. she seems to explore what she is imagining as well as her accepted expectation of what is seen.
i think of the phrase “being as body”. last night this was part of the text i generated during my exploration with the improvisation workshop class (AKA…) i teach at feverhead. and here the words in my head again as i watch this rehearsal.
some of the dancers ask what they are to be doing with what she is giving them, she responds: “you’re learning an approach; a mode”.
Angie references a ’noviceness’ to the timing with an inside joke i don’t know, but that fits what I see.
B moves with them. becomes involved and overtaken by watching. she slows her own to see them while still on her belly. they go. over time she rises, walks around to look from new places. seeing. waiting.
she directs “the phrasing of the small gesture in with the big”
“the size of the things that happen, is being found”
It’s a floor of baby-eye focii; chunky choices in/of/from bodies fluent with movement.
“When you feel like you got it, take a moment” she decides.
Bronwen is the first to smile.