Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Miranda Tufnell - Workshop on Origins

A day with Miranda Tufnell - Shiobhan Davies Studio.

Miranda Tuffnell took us through the very poetically evocative journey of the embryonic life (embryology), the development of the beginning of life. She is drawing on scientific ideas about the cosmos and relates cosmic forces shaping life. The same forces that have shaped the cosmos, shaped the human being (apparent forces)
Looking at a picture of planet earth you can observe how much water is present in the overall construction of the earth and that is what permit life: Movement and water - constitute planets ;
Could decay be measure by decrease of movement and water elements in someone/thing life.
The necessity to connect to those original forces to orient ourself, to reflect on what is coming in the body and how the internal body impact on the outside.- a constant inter change - va et vient
Triggering questions about the coming into being.
  • How do we organise ourself
  • Inquiry into movement across land and territory
  • Inquiry about the way intention unfold:  Decision making - 'that something inside that knows' intuition?
  •  The way that we are already latent in the genes of our grand mother?
  • There is a lot of dying phases in the process of maturation of the egg - negotiation and stillness -
  • The phase of implantation: when the egg land and feed itself from the floor of the womb - the landing process is the forming process of us.
  • Mesoderm (the middle of the three germ layers, or masses of cells (lying between the ectoderm and endoderm), which appears early in the development of an animal embryo. In vertebrates it subsequently gives rise to muscle, connective tissue, cartilage, bone, notochord, blood, bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, and to the epithelia (surface, or lining, tissues) of blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, body cavities, kidneys, ureters, gonads (sex organs), genital ducts, adrenal cortex, and certain other tissues. See also ectoderm; endoderm.)   she referred to it as the primitive street which essentially is responsible for the formation of the spine.
  • The start of the heart beat: It is a rush of the blood flowing into what will become the head, a movement that will produce at 21 days the first heart beat. (see Buddhist view of the wind of both parents creating the first heartbeat)
  • We form out of movement in our fluid. MOVEMENT COME FROM FLUID - Tidal influence of the moon. The forces of the fluid: imagination, feeling, emotion...they are all at play in our decisions
  • The first tidal movement of the body is the breath - inhalation - exhalation (90 seconds)
  • She referred a lot to the notion of CALLING - INNER CALLING - INTUITION  through which we orient.  The knowing of the embryonic cell - even interrupted it will know where to take it from. 
    •   The use of accumulation to let go (here at the end of the session Anna asked about accumulation of experience and having done a succession of exercises that will shape our perception.)
  • The inner and outer body: the inner body is the body of the mother and the outer body is the body as it will be.
  • Int term of methodology Miranda used the expression 'rocking out of it from the periphery back into the centre' - WIDENING THE FIELD- beginning to narrowing from the widening (like finding a spot and then narrowing right into it.
Exercises fro the practice

Preliminary preparation:
The choice of the stone:
in pairs talking about the choice of that particular stone and trying to relate it to a memory. talking about its qualities.
Then choosing a spot in the room to place the stone.
Movements practices:
warming up: walking in the space and noticing the breath then exaggerating the stomping of the feet using the rhythm of the breath. shaking, the back walking backward, using the surprise factor to wake up the body. 'surprise yourself' disturb yourself. 
Imagining your body being liquid, liquidizing the entire body. Using stillness of the body and waiting for the movement to come.
Recording practices
with clay. (each got given a ball of clay the instruction was to let our hand move through the ball with our eyes closed)
Writing about the previous experience
Then sharing with the same partner we have shared the stone history with.

Movement practices 2:
The yawning warm-up: Taking a big inhalation with mouth wide open, opening all the way down until a yawn comes. Letting movements come from it - awakening the body through the opening instead of feeling tiredness, stretching and breathing though a sense of vitality of movement coming through the rhythm of the yawn. feeling the tidal movement...

  1. Closing your eyes, then opening and choosing a spot in the room, walking to it, feeling it in your body letting the imagination take over and impulsing movements. Then reiterate 3 times:
  2. The last spot should be where you stone is.
  3. Finding another partner and sharing the process and talking trough what that spot can be ( a landscape, a person, a memory, an emotion....)
  4. Then choosing one of the three and writing about it, once again letting the imagination go.
  5. Reading it to the partner 
  6. The partner do a movement response for 5 minutes 
  7. without transition the person who read her text start to take over the movement for 10 minutes.
  8. Then talk about it and swap text
Rounding of the session:
On the floor each participant gives 1 or 2 words related to the stone and the experience.

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