I entered into today by pressing the snooze button three times. Even though I sleep about seven hours a night here, it never feels enough! In desperate need of a shower that would not come until later that night, I crawled out of bed, threw on some movement clothes, bandaged my blisters and reviewed my script over breakfast.
With a homemade “frappe” in hand (a popular Greek coffee drink), I exited my house and started the journey down the long and winding road with my friends, exiting Mikro Papingo.
I entered the outdoor rehearsal space ready to work, to move my body and to make bold choices. We began our day with a movement workshop led by Natalie. After getting our bodies nice and warmed up (we’re all still pretty sore from the hike) we began working to build trust and balance within our ensemble. We started by simply adjusting a partner’s posture and refocusing our energy, understanding how our bodies naturally react to touch. And then we hugged. It sounds simple, but seeing and experiencing this basic example of physical contact was very moving—it made me realize how much we take touch for granted in our daily lives. After all rogue tears were wiped away, we experimented with “sharing a spine” with our partner. We shared our weight in a variety of ways and were eventually able to move as one being. In this moment I knew I had entered a truly supportive community.
We then entered our morning rehearsal with Shira. We played a lot with open viewpoints (focusing on…you guessed it…entrances and exits!) and then worked on devised compositions based on the myths of Persephone, Pandora and Icarus, which we’ll be including in our piece of theater that we’ll be performing in just a few days.
After the long walk back up the hill to Mikro, I entered Ianthe’s house and was greeted with the most amazing feast I could have asked for. As nice as the restaurants are in Papingo, there’s always something special about a home cooked meal.
After lunch, some free time, Greek lessons (where we studied the most important lesson…how to properly order coffee) and yoga overlooking the mountains, we entered into our next session with Shira. The bulk of our time was used to create three more site specific compositions in small groups. It was an incredible feeling to enter each of the three performance spaces where the ensemble had created work. The first site was a section of the road that seemed pretty basic, but was filled with at least 5 surprise entrances that nobody had seen before. The second piece was located by the trash of all places, but one of the dumpsters ended up representing Pandora’s box—genius! My piece used a long, steep sidewalk enclosed by houses and an overhead covering to depict Icarus’ flight into the sun. Overall, it was an extremely stimulating and exciting evening of theater!
Honestly, this is pretty much what a typical day looks like here. And although this past week has been jam-packed with inspiring rehearsals, classes and workshops, my favorite parts of this experience have been much simpler: seeing the sun enter the sky from behind the clouds, entering countless conversations about theater, art, religion, politics, Orange is the New Black, etc, and exiting from dinner each night and entering my bed, rightfully exhausted and ready to do it all over again in the morning.