Everyday Hands


Wednesday 15 March

I had a rehearsal with Merel, Jessie, and Fiona today for us all to get into the studio and focus on whatever ideas and thoughts that were niggling at us to explore.Within the rehearsal, I asked to play with a simple devising task that had come from the two week intensive with Frantic. It had stemmed from the task Scott had used giving various sign language movements and playing with them to create quite unique arm phrases. I wanted to explore this concept but play with another form of stimuli.I asked the girls to find four gestures they did everyday, that defined their movement language. As an example one was to twist your hair in your fingers, if this was a gesture that you naturally did on a daily. As they found four moves, I then asked them to play with the task by giving them three words of direction to follow and manipulate their phrase in whatever way those terms meant to them.

The directions were: Connect, transform, and heighten.

From this step it resulted in formed arm phrases that no longer really resembled the original four moves. I then asked for each of them to learn one or two moves from each others phrase. I wanted to see whether the difference in phrases could find a unifying moment by having one simple move pop up in each others sequence. I did not tweak or manipulate the moves as I wanted a completely natural and authentic pattern of movement that came from their bodies first.

Here are the set of three phrases:


I asked the girls to do their phrase together, to watch how the movement would work with one another.


The phrase together was lovely to see as there was one move with the arm outstretched that I was constantly looking for. It brought these three women together, all telling their own stories but having one shared experience. In an odd sense there was a nice canon of movement to this one gesture that could only have come from finding it through playing and not pre planning set rules.

It was interesting to watch, as this was a simple task that had no real intention behind the beginning direction, I could already clearly see and articulate subtexts within each person’s phrase that was not intended to be there. Simply because of the nature of their moves, the decision of their pace, pauses if added, and their eye line. For a task that came from movement that was already settled in their bodies, the girls finished with phrases that we could not have created from scratch without the initial elements. I was already brainstorming potential stories behind these phrases and how I could play with this movement to amplify those subtexts. I think the idea that if you begin from a movement that is natural to you, it is much easier to manipulate from there. As they all had a specific broken down understanding of their own created phrase, this laid a foundation to work and elaborate on.

This was something I did not understand until I had gone through this task with the girls. To be fair they were very quick and natural at this task as we had already explored this kind of devising in the intensive and so they were very comfortable to play. That said I believe it will be something I explore in the future when generating movement with people who are not necessarily comfortable with making movement from scratch.


5 thoughts on “Everyday Hands

  1. Nice to read your thoughts on this Chloe. I love your term ‘arm phrase’! I think it was interesting how fast we created these strings of movement. It didn’t take longer than 10 or 15 minutes, I think. I was pleasantly surprised by the added element you thought of, of having all performers integrate one same move into their sequence. Watching the video you took it really looks like something that connects them, indeed. Integrating this move creates a good starting point for happy accidents to occur. It starts to look a bit like a travelling canon. Thanks for the mini-workshop! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Merel, you said it perfectly those happy accidents are for me the most exciting part about creating movement, and I truly believe as long as you continue making and slogging away those accidents present themselves. And often times they are results that you didn’t think possible, I think that is why as Scott has said, not giving too much information to a task leaves room for everyone to slightly deviate and explore. Which is brilliant!


  3. Hey Chloe, I really like how you have started to adapt and develop some of the work and exercises that we explored in M18PA.

    I’ve also become pretty fascinated at the mechanics of the ‘Building Blocks’ and have started looking for ways to generate movement through adaptations of exercises like ‘Blindness Hands’ and ‘Connect/Affect/Disconnect’. I’ve even started like yourself, to craft and shape my own exercises (See my blog on the Darknet)

    I like how you broke this down into stages, drew on action verbs, took a step back and allowed yourself to be surprised with where the material could go. This really reminded me of some choral movement work i’ve done before that was inspired by Movement Director Aline David. Her work is pretty interesting and there are many parallels with Frantic and the ‘Building Blocks’ – Check it out if you haven’t already -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKd9ERhV5SI&t=390s


  4. I really enjoyed working on this Chloe – you said about the simplicity of using ‘everyday’ movements and this worked well for me; I instantly knew what moves I could use as the clue is in the title… I do them everyday! But the ‘end’ result of the video of the three of us togher, it looks amazing! Imagine what we could’ve done had we had more time to play. So, thanks for this 🙂 have referenced this blog post in my own blog, hope that’s okay!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s