PAGPAG : A Movement Class – Scenius Eskwela : Interdisciplinary Fellowship Exchange Program 2018 |25, February 2018, SA PUSOD NG LUNA | Written by Toja Sadie
Walk like a fish, move with a handkerchief, sway with the wall. Seems absurd? Well it is, but in a good and artistic way. As absurd as it looks like, the human body can create movements beyond our words and description. One might even create a dance piece with just a burst of emotions.
For the second installment of this week’s Scenius Eskwela we had a movement workshop entitled PAGPAG lead by Jan Lloyd Celecio, a very talented dance prodigy from the well-received dance company, the PUP Maharlika. Continuing the theme of understanding the body, we’re to express our feeling ad emotions thru various bodily movements. We are also joined by some members and apprentices from the PUP Sininglahi Polyrepertory, the beneficiary of the Eskwela.
Before we commenced on the workshop activities, we had a brief discussion first about what movement is and how it is different from dance. As Jan Lloyd discussed,
movements should be exploratory and should express your emotions.
Awareness and sensitivity is the key on doing movements or “pulsuhan”. Movements are not practiced or choreographed unlike dance but you can create a full dance piece with just movements. As Jan Lloyd further elaborates, movements are good way to unleash stress and unburden oneself from heavy emotions.
We started with doing small random movements that Jan Lloyd throws us and then it would shift to another one. With every shifts, the movements have to be bigger and faster. It is really exhausting and it will really get your adrenaline running. Next, we were asked to tell a story thru moving tableau. Unlike regular tableau, in moving tableau you will have to “change the scene” once it is already “painted” but it can only be done by striking a different pose, one person at a time. First we were grouped by fours and then after a few rounds, grouped together. It is way more challenging with more people since connection is encouraged. It will really get your creative juices working. Before we proceed with the next activity, we did an ice-breaker called “follow the leader” to cool us down. Basically it is just like Zumba but anyone can take the lead once ready to change the routine. After that we proceeded with the next activity which a bit similar from the one we did earlier but this time instead of just doing a pose it has to be a constant movement. It is way more challenging with the addition of movement because you’ll have to complement each other’s bodies and at the same time be in-synch. Nonetheless it was very much fun to know that you could still create a story with spontaneous movement and a background music without planning.
We paused for a short break before we proceed to more advanced activities as Jan Lloyd explained. For the next activity we did Contact Improv. It’s part of Dance Improv that has to be done with at least pairs. A part of your body must remain in contact with your partner as both of the bodies will do movements and tempo should not just match the music but your partner’s body as well. Jan Lloyd taught us the techniques which are rolling, sliding, and twisting to help keep the connections or contact points with partners. After we did it by partner, we did it together as a group and it was more intense. Yet again, it is a wonderful experience because it feels that all of the body parts are synchronized, connected and moving as one unit.
For the next activity we were once again grouped in to pairs. What we were asked to do is to make our partners move by tapping the body part, but it has to look like we are dancing as well. Just like the former activities the movements should be logical, if foot is to tap forward it has to move forward while feeling the music. As the performance progresses, the movements become more detailed until they become a full choreography.
For our last activity we were asked to get any random object in doing an Improv dance piece with a random song. The results were astounding as every participant were able to create a story with the object. It was a mixture of Improv acting and dancing.
As we closed the workshop with a choreographed performance taught to us by our facilitator
we have come to realize that our bodies have movements on their own. So does our emotions and our subconscious.
Will all the activities we did none of it were planned or practiced, it was all raw emotions and jolts of body movements tempered by sensitivity and finesse. It just shows that our bodies no matter what shape and size and color, could produce art in performance through various ways whether it is planned or not.
It would make you wonder, in terms of performance, what else can we do with/thru our bodies?