abjection — night 4

Another night. One of the coldest recently. Still, I rehearse with windows open. There’s something intrinsically horrible for me about unmoving air, air that sits and congeals, languishes in a closed room. A window cracked open is enough to return the circulation, to create drafts and eddies.

It’s easy to find oneself lying on the floor, wondering what’s the point of it all. A simple remedy for me is to just keep hacking away slowly at whatever it is I’m working on; even if it’s just repetition for the sake of not stopping, something useful can be found in exhaustion.

I work through my usual-ish warmup, some boot camp, half an hour of a couple of specific movement tasks that leave me slightly nauseous, and during which I am shouting in my head at the music I am listening to, to hurry up and finish. A peculiar ghoulish love and hatred of causing self-suffering, and gradual depleting of endurance. Some more grunt-ish stuff, (though leaving out proper floor work as the first studio I was in I didn’t want to use my clothes to clean the floor), more movement tasks building up and pushing tension and release further in both directions … it’s almost two hours before I’ve even finished this. It does though, serve a purpose. I couldn’t do the movement I’m attempting without this, or rather, it wouldn’t look or feel the same.

It seems though, I need more than four hours to get anything done. I spend half an hour feeling slightly dazed, then begin working through last week’s videos as well as some stuff I’ve been watching. I didn’t want to have another rehearsal like the previous three, where I just improvise repeatedly on the same ideas. It’s only been a month of one day a week, so in a normal rehearsal period, perhaps it’s Wednesday afternoon, but I feel like I can say something like, “ok, I know what I’m doing”, enough to concentrate on one or two things a bit.

So I spent maybe 40 minutes working on a few things that add up to perhaps 15 or so seconds, possibly less. A lot of it is quite dry and technical, recreating what I did in an improvisation, working out why it looks unlike what it feels like, working out how not to throw myself over when swinging arms fast, yet also not slow them down as a solution … does it look better if I’m agape at the ceiling or hair-forward, all metal?

As with last week, it’s the final 10 or 15 minutes that turn out to be the most useful, and also when at last, I don’t want to stop. At least I have a beautiful, cold, night bike ride through the centre of Berlin from Theaterhaus Mitte to Wedding. I dawdle to enjoy the city, then hitch onto the back of two other cyclists cutting the red lights from Mitte to Pankstr.

The next two or three weeks I won’t be rehearsing, as Dasniya and I go to Brussels for a residency at Bains Connective. Mid-December to return to this.