My first devise theatre was a therapy

(draft)

How does body language communicate? How can we utilize nonverbal senses like touch, feel, and smell to express and voice ourselves? These are some of the questions I got to explore during my first first devise theatre workshop with dog & pony dc. It was therapeutic, creative and I completely felt safe to let go of myself.

Ever since I played the mother of Romeo and Juliet in 7th grade, I knew acting was not for me. But I enjoy performing in the frame of moving your body. Using my body rather than talking out loud. I feel more expressive in my body and have more confidence. I am happy that I got to explore theatre within this comfortable yet out of my zone of theatre.

We started with a partner exercise where we give touch to the other person. Through multiple ways of touching her, I will provide information to her. From body to body, from her head to her toe. I was trying to respect her as she is a stranger. In turn, she was more active. She gave me more information through different texture and weight that her fingertips creates. I was a bit nervous but it got to the point where I felt so relaxed by the stranger’s touch. The information I received was assuring and it was different from my own touch to my own body to how someone touches your body in the unfamiliar setting.

Some of the exercises included moving around the room with eyes closed. Walking slowly and then finally running and dancing around. Closing your eyes was surprisingly calming. As much as I was engaged in my favorite activity, I was also surprised by the moment of touch with unknown strangers. Touched someone’s hands and it sort of fluidly responded to that hands and kept moving on. It was pleasantly unexpected performances that only someone with their eyes open could visually see but the feeling of touch and its sensation is something I want to further explore.

I felt like my body was more honest than my brain and words. I was able to respond and give information without calculated thoughts. It’s difficult for me to say it. Sometimes, I do not want to say it but rather show it. Every action needs to be taken and shown rather than just said. That is an honest act that we should follow. Words confuse us if the action is not taken. As we feel more powerful and confident when our body is stretched out and stood right up, body language guides us through the complexity with sensation of touch and feel that words may not be able to aid.