Saturday, 22 April 2017

Safe studios and stages

This is so important. It makes me think of the times i excitedly plunged myself into choreographers' request that put me in the position of strong female who was then raped or violated. And then the work i directed myself, to have a male collaborator crush and subdue me, and participatory work where the audience could potentially do anything to the performers, or when a one to one performer triggered the audience - leaving a couple of my collaborators shaking and in tears while i was thrilled at the "audience engagement". I didn't think then of the potentially traumatic effects on myself, on my collaborators, or the audience. I wanted the job then, so badly. From my privileged position, I wanted to be the fearless one known to be able to provoke and stir. My techniques as a past support group facilitator could open up "vulnerability is strength" in myself and others. 

I now see that some of this was quite terrible. I started to look at the ethical complexity of audience manipulation. I still think subjects of violence, pain and discrimination are important to talk about. I'm trying to learn how to direct more compassionately. I'm looking for better ways to incorporate trigger warnings in workshops, rehearsals and performance work that reach for intimately personal spaces. I'm looking for ways to preserve my own emotional and psychological health too. I'm grateful to my collaborators whom i directed in participatory pieces over the years and my workshop participants. Thank you... And I'm sorry where it was too much...and Please, let's keep talking. About how we can go to meaningful and electrifying places with safety and with humanity.

Killing Desdemona: Creating Safe Spaces for Dangerous Work
by Alicia Rodis, on Intimacy Directors International

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