New Orleans theater ensemble NEW NOISE brings physical theater workshop to Emory

This is the Place Where Your Body Belongs: Performing Home

A workshop led by Joanna Russo and Phil Cramer of NEW NOISE, a critically acclaimed New Orleans theater ensemble currently in residence at Serenbe. Introduction by Malina Rodriguez, Theater Emory’s Technical Theater Coordinator and Co-Founder of The Lucky Penny.

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Theater Emory recently teamed up with The Lucky Penny to present a physical theater workshop to the local community. This is the Place Where Your Body Belongs: Performing Home
with NEW NOISE of New Orleans, explored some of the methods that NEW NOISE uses in devising original multi-disciplinary work. Through the medium of performance, participants asked themselves and each other one of the questions at the heart of NEW NOISE’s show Oxblood: Is there a place where your body belongs?

NEW NOISE’s Oxblood is currently being developed and presented in the Atlanta metro area as part of a 2016 Project Residency with AIR Serenbe. See it in performance July 22-24, 2016 at 6pm, at Deer Hollow at Serenbe.

We asked for feedback from two of the workshop participants who are rising seniors at Emory. Here’s how they described their experience: 

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I wasn’t too sure what to expect, I wasn’t completely sure what I signed up for, and I definitely wasn’t sure how physical my body could get, but come Saturday July 15th, I was set to take part in a two-hour physical theater workshop led by the innovative NEW NOISE of Louisiana.

I was pretty nervous as I rushed in chomping my last couple bites of lunch. The workshop began with a physical warmup reminiscent of Gaga dancing, then swiftly transitioned in to a non-stop workshop that would have moments introducing completely in-body theatrical techniques, then moments that were a physical fruition of subconscious writing on deep thought questions such as “Where is home?” and “Where does your body belong?”

Throughout the workshop, a heart of collaboration between the various disciplines of performance art was extremely clear. Being a true and blue liberal arts student who loves blurring the lines in which we confine the different medias of art, this was my jam and butter! The room was filled with artists with various backgrounds from dance to theater and spoken word artist to those who speak solely with their bodies. We would work in teams combining these backgrounds to improvised skits that blended into improvised movements that blended into improvised writing, allowing me to see the variety of natural performance from the artists in the room. As a student with a background in stage acting, I soaked in all the various media and artist’s techniques that pushed my ideas of what theatrical performance could be.

The two hours went by in a blur, I honestly left wishing we had a full day to play! Alas, I will have to suffice by further supporting the NEW NOISE troupe in their performance of Oxblood at Serenbe this weekend, July 22nd-24th! I am extremely thankful for being able to take part in their workshop and would love to see more!

Dalyla McGee
Class of 2017
Anthropology and Human Biology Major
Theater Studies Minor

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IMG_2291The NEW NOISE Workshop was, at first, simultaneously very new and familiar territory to me. As a dancer, I often do not use my voice as a vehicle of expression in performance. My instinct is my body. So, naturally, I was slightly anxious about an experimental theater workshop.  With Joanna’s encouraging and clear direction, that anxiety melted away as the layers of physical mediums in art began to overlap. The intrinsic similarities between art forms opened up an endless universe of loosened possibilities; no right, no wrong, just speak with your body, speak with your voice.  Prompts for creative writing exercises like “describe home to you” or “where does your body belong?” lent themselves to deep-seeded realities brought to light in a myriad of qualities: playful, dark, poignant, tense, sexy, cheerful, surprising or hilarious movement phrases, to name a few. These movement phrases, supported by a vocalization and embodiment of the words written, emphasized that the mover, the speaker, and the creator are one and the same to me. It was a very powerful experience that I am very thankful to have had! Not to mention the fresh opportunity to embody an exhausted book, a creeping chicken, and a devouring automatic vacuum cleaner…

Clara Schulstad Guyton
Class of 2017
Dance and Movement Studies Major
English Major

 

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