Chapter seven and eight: The conscious Performer – from solo to group and back!

 Exploring the landscape of the Now! (Kent De Spain)

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Actually I really enjoy writing after the project. I have now more time for choosing the design and pictures and: I feel more at ease in deciding about the content!

The important conclusion from the sharing on Wednesday evening was the schedule change for the remaining days before the closing performance. We stated in the morning circle that the focus of the work from then on would be not on exploring „new“ stuff, but on getting „my player“ ready for the „the group“ and for meeting „the audience“!

But what does this mean?

It means: Strengthening the performer’s awareness as a whole person by being honest to her or himself and also by being honest (also sometimes selfish…) to the others, for getting connected consciously with THE MOMENT, instead of trying to create a reality which is NOT THERE. It is about meeting the moment and noticing the


This is what I am going to express through my „instrument“ – far from „acting“ in order to impress my audience.

And this feels sometimes really fucking hard, when you don’t have a „script“ for your safety on stage…!

Beside all techniques and skills which a performer might or should learn for expression on stage, there is one, in my mind, often forgotten fact: TRUTH!

It feels worth filling a book (or many…) about this theme, but for this blog in order to give a taste of our work I try to keep it simple. We focused on the last days on awareness, sensitivity, courage and patience, for supporting our belief in the individual and group creativity. In our work we started again to look at scene development on stage, deepening our understanding on the relationship between solo and group for scenic development.

Solo – personal and artistic development 

We are not „RTYTHM IS IT“!

And that makes a huge difference in the logic of relationship between us as facilitators and the group: we don’t want them to be our instrument – we want them to be their own ones!!! Our work is based clearly on participation, growth, communication, development and differences. They have many choices – and this can be as hard as having no choice…!!! Dealing with freedom – it is something that needs to be experienced…

It needs the solo courage of each player and the strength of the group to support this. It needs the acknowledgement of each performer in the group to meet the NOTHING in the EMPTY SPACE with creativity – without filling the stage with non-sense-actions in the effort to impress the audience.


In my sense, the logic behind such performer’s attitude might be a certain imagination or belief on what is artistically appropriate. Often it is simply only the performer’s vulnerability facing the audience that shows some inner truth which is really connected to his or her true personality. So instead of using my precious inner world, performers often start to hide and cover their own fear by using technique und pretending something they don’t really feel. In this way the potential connection of the players’ truth to the themes of humanity, which could create authentic archetypal moments, is not possible.

And this is an issue in scenic work as much so as in the improvisation on stage.

That’s why we research and explore for individual players’ growth with equal importance to developing the performing art itself.

And that is why this work is often rich and beautiful and yet sometimes scary.

This is one reason why I deeply believe that there is no other way than to strengthen the solo in order to play better with others.

Then they might be prepared to develop theatre and dance collaboratively with no script, no director, no choreography.

RUTH ZAPORAH 1995 „Who leads and who follows is irrelevant and changes depending on the material presented. The group is single-minded, one organism. (…) Ensemble work reflects how performers interact with their environment and each other. In an ensemble, performers constantly pass cues back and forth. To see and hear these cues, the performers require clear attention, freed of personal needs and wants.

They must:

  1. Notice what the others are doing
  2. Believe what the others are doing is real.
  3. Let the others‘ reality become their context.
  4. Act from inside the context.“ 

I love this clear basic insight about stage performance. And we supported the group to understand this mentally and physically during the evening performances, in which we facilitators made calls for intervention. After each evening performance the facilitators and the performers alike exchanged feedbacks (observations, feelings and perceptions).


Creative Facilitation and Esthetic Education

For me all these „alien thoughts“ are leading to themes like: Creative Facilitation (how to support these processes…?), general questions about esthetic education (what is that at all…???) and the necessary connection between fundamental imaginations and goals of our society and the way we deal with artist expression and process.
This is something to tell in the last chapter of this blog, in the „Epilogue“ … (then I write again in my mother tongue … it will save a lot of time … )
In any case we have used the past two days to play and make mistakes, to raise awareness and to gain insights about ourselves, the game and the world …

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