UK Theatrelabs : LAB notes from August LAB

Stand or sit facing a partner and hold out your hands horizontally flat, your hands resting above or below your partner’s, not touching.
Keep total eye contact throughout the exercise. No talking, though it might be alright to talk further into the exercise (run it at least for 15 minutes and as long as you want/can).
Slowly allow the hands to move and weave in and out of each other, to almost touch and then to dive and dance, always focusing on a genuine connection with your partner, through eye contact, never leeting gaze tostray towards the hands. Take risks and if the hands touch, re-set and start again, without beating yourselves up.
Moments of connection and disconnection, moments of electricity, moments of doubt, laughter and mistrust.
To the onlooker moments of fascination, confusion, disappointment, electric performance.
We were generally bad at it but got better! Rapport was created, lost and recreated. Communication. Contact. Gaining our next move from the inspiration of the other person, not just from us.
Can we trust the performance to emerge excellently from the contact we gain from our fellow actors?
During the rest of the lab we worked on dialogues which attempted to emerge spontaneously from the interaction, avoiding the need to “manage” in advance, to “Look after ourselves first”. Difficult work. We only just scratched the surface.
Again, a LAB which teased the border between performance and personal development. Dangerous, potentially spooky, but never less than a challenge.

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