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Martha Górnicka's workshop: a testimony

Following the work we did during Marta Gornicka’s workshop on the 24th of April, I felt more awake, calmer and yet alert. It was a relief that there was no expectation or demand for specific formal musical skills; I perceived from her a complete confidence on our ability to form a chorus. Specifically in our ability to reconnect with the earth and gravity, with our breath, with our “cosmic spine”. This re-inhabiting of the dimension which we are inclined to label as physical, helped us occupy the space and open to each other.

It was pleasurable and even heartwarming to breathe together and eventually sing together in “computer tone”. At that later stage I felt included and saw the rest of the members of the group being at ease with producing sound. This is absolutely not a given in a group which is professionally diverse and is not founded on the basis of vocal ability. The conditions needed for voice work as well as for the revelation of the identity of the individuals and the group, were steadily assured. Yet it happened after two hours of work which did not focus directly on voice.

Her preparatory so-called static work (no displacement in the space) was reinvigorating and did not feel too tiring for the length of time that we were on our feet. I wonder whether this kind of work would be more demanding to professional actors that would maybe like to proceed more rapidly and skip stages that are seen as too simple or tedious. For me it worked wonders.

Her guidance was ever-present during the process but felt supporting, not pressing. I felt encouraged to take personal responsibility, of my psychophysical coordination in parallel with interacting and mingling with others.

Clearly hers was a kind of work whose priorities and esthetic find me in agreement. I wonder about the ways in which the workshop would have been perceived differently by someone who has not any training or experience in the somatic techniques. On the other hand, I have little doubt that this work touches on basic human abilities having to do with being present with oneself, while in the presence of others, while finally contributing to a collective action and expression.

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