Saturday, March 1, 2014

DRAW2014: follow-up

What a cool day. Thanks to Associate Head and Professor of Art Clayton Merrell for the invitation. I am sure I learned more than anyone today. 

We started each of the sessions by looking at some of the featured drawings from the symposium. I instructed the attendees to "look at the drawings like you normally look at drawings." We took about 4 minutes to look through the 12 pictures. 

Then I sang a little song for everyone and instructed them to "listen to the song like you normally listen to music." 

Then we spent about 35 minutes working on the 'experience' of music....the feeling of shifts of weight, the feelings of light and heavy, the feelings of authentic forward motion. 

I sang my song again and instructed them to look for the matching experience of shifts of weight in my singing, and then we did the same thing with the original slides. It was an extremely simple class. 

In true Dalcroze fashion...this was one of those classes where you really had to be there to understand how profound of an interaction it amounted to. We all 'saw' the slides so differently by the end of the class. I think we were able to make a very strong case for the "experience of viewing a drawing" as being potentially equal to the "experience of hearing a song".

There was one more moment I will share with you...
At one point in the class we all pressed hands together with our partners and pushed and pulled in a kind-of rowing gesture. The Eurhythmics teacher and student is oft to take this kind of collaboration or contact with a partner for granted. We do it all the time. That little gesture, that tiny bit of intimacy between chamber music partners was HUGE for some of the participants today. These were visual art professionals...painters, drawers, sculptors, etc. They have dedicated their lives to making art largely in isolation. The act of collaboration, in a true duet-chamber-music-in-time model was nearly overwhelming for some. It was a big deal that revealed layers to the performance that this crowd rarely gets to experience. 

"The only reason for the major instrument is to act as a vehicle to share the feelings inside of you with your audience." 

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