We have been working on partnering within movement over the last few sessions. Experimenting with sharing weight in pairs to build up an awareness of weight distribution – how much you can take and how much you can give your partner. These will be the building blocks for duets.
We played with a partner lead/follow exercise where A places a hand on B’s shoulder and closes their eyes, B then leads A around the space. This is a way of building trust, awareness and concentration between these two partners. We then developed this to have the leaders running, walking backward, going to the floor, hopping while A still followed with eyes closed, trying to listen with only their hand in contact with B’s shoulder. This was a very interesting exercise as it got the girls working in a different way than just remembering a sequence and executing it. Their movement became freer as they were concentrating on leading and following rather than a sequence. From this there emerged some really creative and beautiful movement and imagery. There was a quiet focus within this exercise as I was asking the girls to try to listen to movement instruction with the part of the body in contact with the other person rather than talking, which can be very difficult.
We are starting to develop this duet from a lead/follow partnership by experimenting with giving movement information to different parts of the body, not just the shoulder. What if you were to move your partners knee, or hip, or head? How do they respond to this impetus? I look forward to seeing what the girls create through this exercise using their own movement vocabulary and open imaginations.