This Tuesday (1.18.11) was the first time I could feel Samar’s frustration of not being able to be in the same space as our bodies. We started to build a phrase that started with a verbal description of the position my body would occupy. She asked me to sever my body in half, the top half would be bound in the restricted sense and the bottom half would be bounding, moving with precision and accuracy. Her computer had to be shifted around so I could actually see what she was demonstrating with her legs. Luckily my top half was not meant to move much so her severed body on the screen helped to further the visual understanding of the task. The delay time became an issue as I was often uncertain when things were starting and stopping, when I should continue or wait for more instructions. I found myself just going back to the beginning to repeat the phrase over and over so she could get a feel for the movement. But as I found out later quicker turning movements become pixilated and blurred. I could not tell from her silence if she was unhappy with my interpretation of what I saw her doing or if she was unsatisfied with the phrase in general. The lines of communication were fragmented and that fragmentation and the inability to feel how her body was in the space caused me to make assumptions from the mediated/pixalated information I received. I was filling in the gaps with projected thoughts about what she might desire and what she was trying to communicate. Its something I think most people are aware of but the ability to get an accurate reading of a person who is in a separate room can be quite difficult and extremely frustrating. Maybe this will be a process of figuring out better ways to go about such things.
—Katie Shetlick, dancer of YSDT