Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wreck Beach Butoh Boot Camp: Day 6

The start of week two was not as hard as I expected. In part this is because I followed Barbara's advice and didn't just sit on my ass and nurse my wounds over the weekend break. I worked out each morning, adding a lot more stretching than normal. I also went for a run on Sunday, albeit a painful one given all of the lactic acid that had built up in my quads. And of course I practiced my ecstasy jumps. The epsom salt baths also helped. As a result, yesterday was the most limber I've felt so far in the process. Even the muscle I seem to have pulled in my right pec is feeling better.

Not that we weren't working hard, starting with Jay and his push-ups. The man seems to have an infinite variety of ways to inflict this particular torture upon us. But working the shoulders and lats is necessary given the slow opening walk into the water that we will perform this weekend: it's done with us holding our arms behind our backs, clasping our hands together and stretching them upwards off our asses as we lean our chests forwards. We have to do this for almost four minutes, at the end of which, once in the water, we release our hands so that they float up of their own accord. Then we're off and swimming.

While we actually began yesterday's rehearsal by refining our final group duet, most of our time following the break was spent setting the structure of the piece from the beginning. This meant perfecting our statue poses according to Barbara's wishes (not the way we had first learned them from Jay!), and then cycling through them in canon according to the four groups of five into which we had been divided: once slowly, and once double-time. We also learned that we will be performing the main Icarus section of the piece (which Barbara has taken to calling "Crumbling") in two staggered groups, each positioned at a distance from the other. It was hard to do this in the cramped EDAM studio, but on the beach we'll have the opposite problem: too much space.

Indeed, during our ritual Q & A circle session at the end of yesterday there was much discussion of the conditions to expect on Wreck this weekend. It's supposed to be very hot: 28 on Saturday, 30 on Sunday. So we need to bring lots of water. And Barbara also noted that she would choreograph things so that we went into the waters of the ocean at least three times.

I'm starting to get excited.


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