2nd week of lessons and Performing Arts Festival in Eger!

We have just completed our second week of lessons. :)

This week we did more of the same - games and exercises to get to know names and a bit about each student.
It's funny how all the groups are so remarkably different! We have one group who are VERY LOUD, one group who are all extremely shy, and so on. We decided that now we must alter our lesson plans to adapt to their needs as a group. The loud, energetic group will now start with some 'lets-all-go-mad-and-run-around-and-scream-and-shout' exercises, so they can get it all out of their system before doing exercises that require them to focus.  And for the shy group we need to slowly work on bringing them out of their shells by encouraging silliness and vocal projection .
Starting tomorrow we'll be using music with some of the exercises as it is a really helpful medium to aid focus, creativity and productivity.

We're starting to notice some particularly talented students too and all in all we had lots of fun.

We had a new group on Tuesday - university students all the way from Transylvania in Romania!
They are here on an exchange program in which they see how the lessons are taught, how the students live, etc - to gain a general insight on student life in Jaszbereny! They will have one lesson with us per each of the 4 weeks they are spending here and Tuesday was the first. Obviously they are a bit older than the other students and it's amazing just how different confidence levels are at that age. They all responded incredibly well the exercises, you could FEEL the focus and concentration in the room, and they put effort into everything. They were able to laugh at themselves and be silly and it seemed there was much less self-consciousness than we see amongst the 13 year-olds for example.

We gave them a basic introduction to physical theatre which included the following -

Ways of walking - they walked around the room in different ways - drunk, in a rush, really heavy, on ice, etc

Lead by different parts - they imagined they were being pulled by various parts of their body and that part had to lead - elbow, knee, tongue, etc

Human Machine - I love this exercise! A human machine is gradually developed person by person, with one person starting with a repetitive, machine-like action and sound and then people come in and add to this.

Navigation - With a blindfold someone is directed to the other side of the room but must beware of obstacles (a course is created using chairs and shoes, that they must not touch)

We ended with a creative exercise of passing a pen around which becomes something different each time (eyeliner, a flute, a q-tip, etc). They all think very creatively and some of them are very talented.

In the meantime - myself and Clara visited a small festival of performance arts in Eger and saw an act by Rita.  The 29-year-old has her own dance/theatre company - Tarsulatol, who 'apply dramatic devices and dance-based theatre performances in an interactive manner.' The two performances we saw were both accompanied by live music and the second show even involved audience interaction. Often the music would stop and she'd move to silence which really heightened certain moments and added a completely different element to the overall feeling.

I was really inspired by Rita. How she used her body to express deep, intense, shocking emotions and themes in an outrageously ballsy, avant-garde fashion. Often quite erotic and sensual, she was seen undressing, putting a gun in her underwear (symbolism) and climbing over/between/under the drummer whilst he continued to play. I loved the way it made me feel. I interpreted the first show, with the undressing and the gun, as showing a woman's world in which she experienced rape/ violence.
The second, with the drummer, conjured up many ideas. The way in which the man continued to play, almost oblivious of her clambering over him, seemed to show a disinterest on his part, perhaps portraying a communication problem in a relationship. Rita then started removing various drums, of which the drummer also seemed oblivious to, and simply continued with less drums than before, until finally he had just the one. I liked this 'deconstruction', breaking down of the drumkit, showing the breaking down of the relationship.

I spoke to her a little bit - she studied contemporary dance in Budapest and has been making her own shows for several years and particularly likes working abroad because it emphasises the non-verbal realm of possibilities that dance can bring.

Here are some pictures for a better idea of what she did-