Andrés Waksman IN RESiDENCE at the School Barri Besòs
EXPERIENCES DIARY. PRESENTATION.
COORDINATES 41 24 42123… IN RESIDENCE 2018-19… Start
From the Latin, initium, inici [start] is a term that can be used as a synonym to beginning.
This is about the beginning, origin or root of something…
This year we started the In Residence at the Institut Barri Besòs
(coordinates 41 24 42123)
This was a very heterogeneous group of 2nd-year compulsory secondary education (ESO) students with different interests. A complete challenge!
3 NOVEMBER 2018
MICRÒFONS, CASTANYES, MERCAT i FLORS…
On Tuesday, 30 October, despite the freezing cold and a waft of roast chestnuts joining forces to stop us from wanting to leave the school… we set out towards the Mercat de les Flors, to see the show Micròfons, part of the Mercat de Les Flors’ Grada Jove programme.
Three teachers accompanied the students: Laura Domingo, Pau Bou and myself. Waiting for us there were Andrés Waksman and Jordi Puigdefàbregas, the choreographer and dancer invited by Andrés who had already worked with our students.
The In Residence students were accompanied by 20 4th-year ESO students who were attending a course on Performing Arts and had to observe and carry out fieldwork on the show we were going to see…
After we had eaten breakfast, we met up with Sònia Fernández who, with her usual charm, showed us the secrets and inner workings of the Mercat de les Flors… and the Sala Pina Bausch in particular!…
That was no mean feat!
Once we were in the large hall, we got ourselves ready to see the show Micròfons, by Jorge Dutor and Guillem Mont de Palol.
Jorge Dutor and Guillem Mont de Palol immersed themselves in a common universe, the one that constantly surrounds us: pop culture. Playing and re-working lyrics, refrains, titles of songs and other elements of popular culture that suggested landscapes through which audiences entered a field of personal memories and wild associations, creating links between the various elements proposed.
But who are Guillem and Jorge? Here's a brief CV…
Guillem Mont de Palol and Jorge Dutor have been collaborating since 2008. Guillem studied at the SNDO (School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam) and is both a choreographer and a performer. Jorge studied at RESAD (Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid). Their artistic interests are centred on language, the voice and its physicality, the body, musicality and rhythm. They started working together in Amsterdam and have created a number of pieces that have been presented in various national and international contexts.
Once the show had finished, a different and very powerful discussion was proposed, where some of the students attending took on the role of the artists, even responding to questions from the audience!
As we left, we took a photo and commented on the work, the students reflected on what they had seen and it was noted that the work had moved them, some showed surprise and others enthusiasm, some commented that they could not understand some scenes… others that they were gobsmacked with the
Titànic and Jorge's Céline Dion… no one said they didn’t like it…
I was surprised, on the way back to school, to hear a student humming Purple Rain in a deep voice… Why was that? The truth was that Jorge and Guillem had succeeded in holding their attention for 60 minutes, using their bodies and voices and the names of artists and songs from the 1980s and 1990s… Fantastic!
And I was thinking… Thank you, Sonia, and thank you, Mercat… we are gradually getting there… what these kids saw today has moved them!… Theatre, Dance, Body, Word, Music...
This is Art!
Jordi Sánchez. Teacher at the Institut Barri Besòs.
17 NOVEMBER 2018
THE NEVER ENDING STORY… OR DOES IT END?
Today, I don't know why I’ve got this song stuck in my head, by Celtas Cortos, Cuéntame un cuento y verás que contento, me voy a la cama y tengo lindos sueños…
A new In Residence session… And I wonder… How will it go today?
Laura, Andrés and I are facing a new challenge! I believe the word “reptàs” doesn’t exist in Catalan!
But it could be invented! Send word out to the IEC dictionary people!
The truth is we have been working with a group of students who are pretty lethargic, somewhat
indifferent and not terribly keen to work and… getting them to create is even more difficult.
Last Tuesday, Andrés told me that I'd be accompanied today by Linn, a Swedish
choreographer giving classes at ALAS who’d be giving us a helping hand.
We’d arranged to meet in the school canteen for a coffee before the session and, when I got there, I bumped
into Andrés and… at the other side of the table, there was a spectacular smile.
It was Linn's… transmitting energy, optimism, vitality, security… we introduced ourselves,
we spoke, planned things between the three of us… and I was thinking… now you’ll see what's in store for you!
The session began… and … oh my God… the show began!
Using a hectic-paced warm-up, movements and music, Linn and Andrés managed to
set such an intense pace that the project’s kids could hardly
breathe. They didn’t stop…
Up, down, on the floor, jumping, passing balls, running, stopping, working in pairs,
threes... They started sweating and under the various orders and activities of the two choreographers, the activity
was really alive and the creators managed to captivate the group and take them to their territory…
They made them work individually and collectively… the two hours went flying by and the
kids ended up exhausted and out of breath… we spent a while reflecting on what they had
done and on creating mental images based on music and dance… a new challenge!
The session ended and on my way back to my office I was thinking about….
Linn… fairy tales…fairy tales sometimes end well…
Could it be that Linn was [the pied piper of] Hamelin and the residents were the rats that followed her
There's a lot of wisdom in fairy tales! And I still believe in fairy tales!…
and in wings…
Jordi Sánchez. Teacher at the Institut Barri Besòs.
19 NOVEMBER 2018
4th-year Performing Arts students evaluating Micròfons.
Students who did the In Residence with La Calòrica two years ago, are now monitoring their
classmates with Andrés Waksman and went with them to Mercat de les Flors to see Micrófonos and… this is what they said of the work:
I was really surprised only names of songs and actors were used… And that with just that could make something as lovely and different as those two did. I also liked the fact that they used it, in one part, as a type of loop. I don't know why, but I liked it, for being different and something you don’t see every day.
I didn't understand plays very well, but, in this case, I liked the fact that, using only words and names of various artists, they created feelings.
What grabbed my attention were their movements, because they were very marked and they wanted to convey more with them than with words. I also found it interesting that there was no story as such, but that it was all very random and each person understood it the way they wanted.
What surprised me about this dance was its way of grabbing the audience's attention. Its way of expressing itself with the body, the noises they were making and even what they were saying, actors’ names. I was surprised at how they conveyed confusion, expression with the body… A performance.
What impressed me about the show we went to see was the skill the actors had in saying singers’ names in rhythm and without tuning or anything. I liked everything but especially that.
What caught my attention in the work we saw was the loop the actors kept making, repeating certain names of famous people without any apparent meaning, which I found a little disconcerting at the beginning but by the middle of the piece I understood what it was about.
I found it very odd when I saw what the two performers were doing because I thought we were going to see contemporary dance and it wasn’t like that. I gradually understood it all, they were saying names of famous people and making gestures. When the performance ended, we held a discussion which was really lovely, we asked them things about what inspired them to do this, the costumes, and so on. I found it an interesting performance; it caught my attention.
I thought that we'd see a dance show but that wasn’t the case: they used a name to make a small part of the piece, repeating it numerous times or part of it and they repeated the same movement continuously. I didn't understand the concept very well.
I thought at the start that they were going to dance, but when I saw they were doing things which didn't make sense to me or seem normal, I didn’t understand what was going on stage, they were reciting paragraphs of songs, names of famous people, running and saying things and repeating the same thing again and again. When I saw all that, it was all the same to me, I didn't understand a thing. I'd come thinking we were going to see dancing but I was in for a surprise.
What really grabbed my attention was seeing them moving and shouting over and over again without getting tired, or out of breath, or making a mistake, although I understood practically nothing about what they were doing, the truth is, I liked it a lot and enjoyed watching it.
24 NOVEMBER 2018
“QUIEN JUEGA AL JUEGO, EL JUEGO LO JUEGA” [WHOEVER PLAYS THE GAME IS PLAYED BY THE GAME]
We went to ALAS, Andrés Waksman’s dance school, to follow an In Residence session with 2nd-year ESO students from the Institut Barri Besòs, our school.
Our teacher Jordi took us there as observers and our first surprise was that, when we arrived we were invited to take part in the session, so we took off our shoes and started a warm-up round, aimed at creating unity between us (it was very physical).
They paired us up to work in teams. Two choreographers ran the session: Linn Johansson, who was pure vigour, had a great deal of life force and moved like a Tasmanian devil, never stopping, prompting movement, running, jumping, speaking, breathing…. By contrast, Andrés Waksman moved about like a crane, his movements were fluid, smooth, calm, floating over the parquet floor…
We left the group and then spent our time observing the session and taking notes… They really make them work a lot, stressing they should not get distracted.
They introduced an activity: playing to conquer the other’s territory, at all costs. And a girl said: “Why conquer the other’s territory if it’s better to share?” Great reflection.
Then they made them withstand the weight of fear and at the same time adapt to the change that fear can cause them.
Immediately afterwards they got them to act as if they were trapped in a busy lift and had to adapt to the situation and all move at the same time, with some going over the top of others. It was an exercise for them to listen to one another, learn, that it was better to act than to talk, that the body also had to talk. And finally they played a concentration game “pasar la pelota con la palmada” [pass the ball], very common in theatre, which they did using their names.
Afterwards, with colours, and if they repeated a colour they were given a punishment chosen by their classmates. A phrase appeared at the end which got us thinking, which Linn Johansson said: “Whoever plays “the game is played by the game.” Three days later, we were still thinking about the phrase…
Salima Ennahi and Alba Carrillo. Institut Barri Besòs. 4th-year ESO (Performing Arts).
25 NOVEMBER 2018
¡SILENCIO! ¡ES EL CUERPO EL QUE HABLA! [SILENCE! IT'S THE BODY THAT SPEAKS]
The fact is, now that I’ve read the magnificent article by Salima and Alba, there’s little I need to add… On Wednesday, 21 we made our way to ALAS - Arts in movement https://alasbcn.com/
Andrés’s school, which is located in a delightful passageway in Poblenou, surrounded by old factories… and… I immediately thought… it had magic… it was magic… let's see if it changes the students and turns them into top-notch dancers! Once we got up there my premonition was confirmed, this place had… something that… I don't know exactly what… it had an angel… it had WINGS!
And the show began! Races, chases, Zen balances, circles… New exercises were added: spinning on our backsides like a spinning top, being statues, fighting to get a place on an imaginary sofa, rucksack, lift, human sculpture… all mixed up with feelings of happiness, fear and provocation and a few drops of Tabasco!
And this was all about to end, it was time for the creator's reflection. Andrés walked over to the circle of students, who listened to him attentively (A miracle!) and he told them: “Let your body speak.
Let's listen to it. We’ll speak with our body, through our body, not with our mouth. The body has to be involved. If we speak, the body weakens.”
The session ended. CONGRATULATIONS, BOYS AND GIRLS, you learnt really well today!
We went down the stairs leading to street-level Poblenou and I thought about the phrase...
“Silence! It's your body that speaks!”… it reminded me of… What?… I don’t know, It seemed familiar…
I finally found it… The House of Bernarda Alba…
A magical place, special lighting, the students performed and enjoyed themselves… I wondered whether
Federico's spirit was with us!
Jordi Sánchez. Teacher at the Institut Barri Besòs.
14 JANUARY 2019
RESISTÈNCIA PACÍFICA [Pacific Resistance]: a non-violent method of opposition to the established system consisting in refusing to take part in certain aspects of public life (IEC).
Today we entered a new year! School, at least. The second term had begun and, what is more, we were doing it in our school's new Carlos Díaz function room! Andrés and Jordi Puigdefàbregas would be running a session working on a very interesting topic…
And what must Andrés have meant when talking about resistance?
Maybe… resistance element (heater): a machine that turns electricity into heat.
Microbiology: resistance to antibiotics, capacity of bacteria to withstand antibiotic action.
physical resistance, an organism’s capacity enabling it to maintain a physical force of moderate
or high intensity during a prolonged period and delaying the fatigue that exercise causes.
Motorcycling: resistance, variant of speed motorcycling aimed at testing the durability
of motorcycles and the participants’ physical resistance.
aerodynamic resistance, force of opposition to movement within a fluid;
mechanical resistance, maximum force that a material can withstand;
electrical resistance (property);
electrical resistor (component);
thermal resistance, a material's capacity to oppose the flow of heat.
Memòries d’Idhun I: La Resistència
Resistència (film) [Defiance], a 2008 film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Daniel Craig
French Resistance, the movement that fought against the Vichy government and the German occupation
of France during the Second World War.
Resistència Catalana [Catalan Resistance], an armed separatist organisation in Catalunya del Nord [French Catalonia], that was in operation
from 1984 to 1986.
Afrikaner Resistance Movement, a South African political party founded in 1973.
After tying my head in knots, I realised it had nothing to do with any of that… but Andrés told them it was about the resistance that they (his students) used for certain activities, for getting motivated and down to work! The “I don’t want… I don’t like…”.
Well, there I was racking my brain and it turned out I had the evidence right before my eyes! Indeed, they were really resistant!
In the end, I wanted to believe that “new year, new life”…
And they began working on opposing forces, balancing and physical work in pairs… they lifted dead bodies, looking for balance and trying to overcome the force of the body to go down, they became roly-poly toys (tentetiesos) and were shoved and directed as the group chose…
The second part of the session was about searching for silence, expressing the movement of solitude and reading aloud phrases from poems that students had chosen in previous sessions and expressing the sensation they had experienced using the body… flying, free as a bird!
All in all, an intense day, or rather: ohms+amps!
At the end, we spoke about what we had done, we reflected aloud and I took the opportunity to ask the students what they were resistant to and the results… judge for yourselves…
I’M RESISTANT TO…
“Not appreciating my loved ones and not being able to say what I think.” (Carmen Esquitino)
“Nothing.” (Jashira Aguilar).
“Writing and moving when I don’t want to.” (Antonio Vigo)
“When they pull my leg and pretend.” (Javi Ferrón)
“Wearing the same clothes as everyone else and bullying others.” (Andrea Barreras)
“Writing a lot and getting up when I’m lying down.” (Christian Tammoschath)
“Having the mickey taken out of me and my leg pulled.” (Meriem Chakroun)
“Being made to move my body and someone dirtying my clothes.” (Tabassum)
“Doing something and writing more.” (Sara Guitard)
I also got them to evaluate the work session. This is what they said:
“I really liked it, though I'm hungry and sleepy.” (Carmen Esquitino)
“Very good.” (Jashira Aguilar)
“Good.” (Antonio Vigo)
“I didn't like it.” (Javi Ferrón)
“I liked today’s class a lot, because I collaborated.” (Andrea Barreras)
“I liked the session, but some things I didn't like.” (Christian Tammoschath)
“I didn't like it and I don’t like having the mickey taken out of me.” (Meriem Chakroun)
“The teachers got a Satisfactory Achievement (6).” (Tabassum Iqbal)
“I had fun but the songs were boring.” (Sara Guitard)
Jordi Sánchez. Teacher. Institut Barri Besòs.
16 MARCH 2019
On contamination and wars…
On Wednesday, 6 February, we went over to the Fabra i Coats Creation Factory to take part in a contamination session with three more schools carrying out a similar residence to ours… The event was part of the SÂLMON< Theatre Festival.
On the way there, Sara asked me: “Prof, what does contamination mean here? It sounds like a disease and now,
what with the flu...”
Her reflection seemed brilliant to me so I decided to look up the meaning of the word and its application to the
session we were going to do…
Contamination or pollution is a change of an environment's properties through the incorporation — generally
due to a living being's direct or indirect actions — of disturbances, materials, waves or radiation
that introduce changes to the structure and function of the ecosystems affected.
That meant today we’d be contaminated with something and contaminating others with it… I don’t know if
that comes across very well…
We got there and were mixed with other students and teachers from the Institut Josep Comas and Institut Solà, a project run by Constanza Brnčić; the Institut Príncep de Girona, a Fito Conesa project, and the Institut Pau
Claris, a Txalo Toloza and Laida Azkona project…
We didn't know one another but the groups soon established a relationship of trust,
as the workshops were held.
We finally shared our thoughts and the students explained that they had really enjoyed the experience…
Tabassum: “I really liked the work with images (Fito's)!”
Andrea: “I had fun strolling through Barcelona… it was different!” (Constanza)
Tarik: “It was cool building a house with ribbons.” (Txalo Tolosa)
Carmen: “I liked seeing the other students and finding out what they were working on.”
Antonio: “The activity with chairs with the other students was great…” (Andrés)
Sara: “The activity with ribbons surprised its participants.”
We went back to school and Laura and I rated the experience as fun, instructive and very positive...
We ought to do it again!
Jordi Sánchez. Teacher. Institut Barri Besòs.
24 MAY 2019
Piano piano si arriva lontano…
For me, it was a really useful, pleasant and enriching experience. We were coming to the end of a great project.
The last few weeks saw us reaching the highlight of a creative journey that had taken shape a few days before, which had colour, meaning and body and which was fighting to fly alone.
These concerns could be seen in the spirit of our actors which was gradually taking shape, first a partial profile and now a full one… it became an image… well… images…
Yes, striking images, full of symbolism, full of life, full of feelings… bodies that were being transformed, moving, suffering, loving…
They say a picture is worth a thousand words… I’ll leave you with a sound track: Bella ciao! and Anna Fàbrega's marvellous
Thanks, Anna, for your work!
Jordi Sánchez. Teacher. Institut Barri Besòs.
Guillem Mont de Palol and Jorge Dutor's show Los Micrófonos (30/10/2018):
Mercat de les Flors treated In Residence students to a performance that moved them. The work, which combined theatre with movement and pop culture, gave us the opportunity to talk about movement without talking about dance and of seeing body work from a different perspective to the one we were used to. Before we saw the performance, the students were taken on a tour of the Mercat's facilities, where they were told a bit about the history of the theatre and shown its main spaces, offices and dressing rooms.
Vero Cendoya's show, La Partida (10/1/2019):
The Mercat treated the Institut Barri Besòs's students once again to another performance, as one of the collaborators in the In Residence process, Linn Johansson, was taking part in the work and, what is more, the piece blended dance with football, which was more interesting for the young people. The students were impressed when they saw Linn in action, and the work also featured a scene of a football match without a football.
SÂLMON< Festival Session (6/2/2019):
The meeting within the framework of the SÂLMON< Festival turned out to be a watershed; it was stimulating for students to see other creators in action and to get to know other schools. It should be pointed out that the SÂLMON< Festival later enabled the Príncep de Girona and Barri Besòs secondary schools to go and see the public presentation of the Comas and Solà at the Mercat.
Contamination session (18/02/2019):
The contamination session involved all the teaching staff, the ICUB, other representatives of the District and three students.
The session was very fluid, Andrés was very comfortable and got all the teachers to take part in the various proposed body-and-movement games that he had been developing in the classroom. Almost all the teachers let themselves get carried away by these practices, where the three students who came mixed with the teachers and even told them how certain actions had to be done. It was important for the process to see all the teachers involved, enjoying the proposals, and to observe how they related to the students, with warmth and respect.