Please don't get sick. Please don't get sick.
Italian germs have been sneaking into several of the student's bodies (including my roomie's)...and the last two days I have been feeling increasingly "funky". At this point, I would almost rather be sick than have what I have now. It's like...extreme exhaustion, a throat tickle, and a minor cough. Just take over my body, germies, and then get out, for cryin' out loud!
We had movement this morning, and Claudia introduced us to Feldenkrais. Feldenkrais was a distinguished scientist and engineer in Paris in the 1930's. What made him successful, though, was his relationship between bodily movement and our ways of thinking, feeling, and learning. Today, his influences are still felt in physical medicine, the arts, education, and psychology. We started out by laying on the floor. Claudia told us to pay close attention to where our body touches and does't touch the floor - (for example, the gap between the floor and your lower back when you lay down). She then had us imagine that we were on a beach and that our body was leaving an imprint in the sand. Following this, we had to imagine that there was a clock on our pelvis, with the 6 in the lower region and the noon hour by our belly button. When tilting with this clock, what effect does it have on the rest of your body (namely head and neck?) Where is the tension being stored? After this, we rolled around on the ground for a little bit. She asked us, "What is leading you? Your hands? Your feet? Your pelvis?" and she encouraged us in this exercise to try to use the body as an orchestra (moving as one) rather than dispersing energy unevenly. Finally, after all this we got up, walked around for a little bit, and then began doing improv movements to music - using the floor as well and creating different levels. It's amazing how "at peace" my body felt. I felt relaxed, soft, and peaceful yet also strong and in control. I was completely aware of how my body was interacting with the space around me. More than anything, I just felt mentally and physically present - ready for anything. "The readiness is all"
We ended the class by continuing acrobatics.
After movement we had studio time. A bunch of us worked on the acrobatic stuff that Claudia and Michele have been teaching us (proper rolls, headstands, forward rolls over a person's body, backward rolls over a person's body, etc). It was really up to us, though, how we wanted to use the time. I don't even know how this began, but this girl Jessica and I spent a good forty five minutes improvising with gibberish. We were saying complete nothing-ness to eachother, but through the energy in our voices and our movements we were able to understand everything. It carried on for quite some time, and other people got involved as well. We were able to go through a full spectrum of emotion and it wasn't as if Jessica and I were the only two that could understand each other - people in the room who were doing other things stopped to watch and they understood the world we were creating even though it was nonsense. MAN. This is the stuff I'm taking about. Freedom to just freaking create.
The dancers joined us for Voice this afternoon, which was cool. They finally got to see the type of things we've been doing - and tomorrow we get to participate in one of their dance classes! - - so exciting! Favorite parts of class: We had to pretend that percussion instruments were all around us, hitting them with whatever part of our bodies we wanted. So basically, we were our own little band but our movements were connected with the vocalization we were giving the "instruments". The point of the exercise is just to connect your voice with your body. After this, we ended up having another fabulous free-style jam session. We ended by doing a bunch of partner work - pushing and pulling - trying to affect the other.
Last class of the day was Italian, followed by dinner, followed by "Tramonto". This is a gathering that happens in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of our experience here (each one is different). It's a "community" event that brings together the students from the dance and theatre programs here (as if we aren't together enough.....we live together and have classes together all day...ha) We jammed out for a little bit and then had to write down one thing we've learned about people here, one thing we like about ourselves, and one thing we hope to accomplish. Then we took them outside and hung them on an olive tree (symbol of peace) outside the villa. awww. what a little family we are.
Sono esausta! I think it's a mixture of getting sick and the crazy schedule we have here - - it's sad! I wish I had more pictures to share with you guys but so far our classes have dominated our time here. soon. soon. soon I will be an explorer.
It snowed today - a TEENY TINY bit. Not enough to cover the ground, but it was beautiful and reminded me of home. Love all you Wisconsin-ites.
Buona Notte Amici!