Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jerzy Grotowski interview Wywiad z Jerzym Grotowskim

Jerzy Grotowski stalks about the Theatre of the Poor.

Wow it's been a long time since I've been in touch with this stuff, I remember being so influenced by this approach to theatre in my teens. This pre dates Lars Von Trier's, Dogma films; in the idea of paring down an art form to re-connect with what is essential about it. Again, this idea of too much technique obscuring the essence.

I don't know why this seems to be popping up as a theme with me lately, it's not as if my technique is so polished in anything that I do that it will threaten to take over! :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jiri Kylian - Bella Figura [rehearsal]

. . . . and to the other end of the spectrum, the ideas or the letting go of ideas is the same. In the BMC workshop I did last weekend, Alice Cummins commented that she has just begun again to start using the word "technique" again, to refer to the particular set of skills you bring to express your movement. I can see why she may have shied away from using this word as dance or anything we do can sometimes get lost in the technique of it. It's something to be aware of as we get "better" at things, perhaps to acknowledge that the very heart of it is already there and whether our "technique" improves or not is actually peripheral to the crux of the biscuit.

Contact Improvisation

Gorgeous. Makes it look so easy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Navel Radiation

A BMC workshop with Alice Cummins at Studio 14 in Chippendale Sydney.

24th April - 26th April 2010

It was a workshop full of amazing realisations.  We created a sacred space and bore witness to each other - holding each other with our fullest attention.  Allowing our old hard shells that had outworn their use to be shed and to test out the new soft shell that lay beneath - elastic and pliable, soft and porous - fragile but with promise to hold and support a new way of being.

We looked at starfish and studied how they both extend and bring into their centre, but the whole of the workshop seemed to be imbued with a distinctly aquatic feel.  The studio had no windows, and we forgot about the sun and submerged ourselves in the work.

We moved in a silent underwater world, no air to carry the speech and yet so much carried in the currents and the tides.  The fluid inside me responds.

The last dance was one done in partners with one person supporting the other's kidneys.  A cellular touch, being present in touch, one soul to another, and nothing else.  I am you and you are me for this dance.  There is no giver nor receiver and and that is the red herring of cellular touch.  As the one who touches you "assume" you "hold" and "support" the person you have in your hand but what a surprise it is when you are touched back; when they "allow" your touch to enter and join them in the dance you now dance together.  The current runs through you, runs through me.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I am obsessed.  I will admit it.  Under the branches of the big chestnut tree you will find me.  Foraging for my shiny deep brown bounty.  It is no accident that they name that kind of brown "chestnut".  It refers not just to the colour but the lustre of it.

I have roasted them in every way imaginable. frozen, baked, pounded, crumbled, boiled and fried..... all these methods I have used to bring out the sweet nutty goodness of this fruit to the fore.  Best roasted on an open fire it has brought people together around the embers....but it is only the "foreigners" that truly appreciate the chestnut.

Frozen afternoons in Paris with only you and a chestnut vendor for warmth; a spartan village in Macedonia with a small crowd of everyone you know around the fire; the warm company of a pocket full of hot chestnuts as you walk down the chilly streets of Shanghai.

So far I have most enjoyed my private "castagna" parties with a few friends round to roast chestnuts over an open fire.  But I have been trying every recipe under the sun, though the time consuming preparations for getting the little buggers out of their shells and skins mean I'm moving slowly.  Chestnut bread has bean very popular amongst friends and I've even had a couple of commissions.

Chestnuts definitely fall under the category of slow food, and in my case wild food and free food as I get them from someone else's front yard.  Unlike other nuts chestnuts won't keep as they have a high water content so you kind of have to go for broke during the season and I think the best options to store them would be to roast and hull them and then freeze them.  I guess you could also just freeze them shell and all too.  But I the best is just to eat them like crazy when the season is on and then look forward to the next season!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pi-Wei's Famous Chestnut Bread

The chestnut bread goes like this:

I’m giving you the small loaf version. A chestnut loaf is always smaller than one made of 100% flour. If you want to make an all flour version just replace the chestnut meal with flour as that is what I based my chestnut bread recipe on in the first place. Enjoy

1 cup chestnut meal (ie roasted chestnuts that you have zapped in a food processor to a consistency of fine bread crumbs)
1 cup plain flour
¼ tsp yeast
1tsp salt
1 cup water

Stage1: (best to do around 8pm at night)
  1. Chuck in all the dry ingredients and mix tog in a bowl big enough to allow rising
  2. Pour in the water – luke warm if you wish but doesn’t really matter
  3. Mix tog with a spoon until it forms a dough
  4. It may look a little on the wet side because of the water content of the chestnut meal so I just chuck in a handful of flour at this stage to bring it together more, but still it’s a fairly soft wet dough you have there.
  5. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 12 – 18 hours. Just depends when you have time to do the next stage.
Stage 2: (best to do in the morning)
  1. Throw some flour on the table
  2. Scrape out the sticky glutinous mass of risen dough on to it.
  3. No need to punch (that’s not nice) just fold over the dough 3-4 times and then put it back into the bowl fold side down for the second rising for another 2 hours
P.S. flour the bowl a little so the dough comes out easily.

Stage 2 ½ :
  • stick your covered container (dutch oven / camp stove / pyrex thing / whatever) in the oven 15 minutes before you want to bake the bread
Oven heat is about 200 degrees Celsius but you’ll know to adjust as you see fit with more experience

Stage 3: (best to do 2 hours after stage 2 … dah)
  1. Take your hototot vessel form the oven
  2.  Throw a little flour into the bottom
  3. Place your twice risen dough with the seam side up for rustic country effect when cooked. You may use all manner of sprankles like corn meal, bran, polenta, fresh cow manure etc for added extra rusticity.
  4. Put the hototot lid back on to your hototot vessel and put into the oven for 30 minutes
    After 30 minutes remove lid and cook for another 15 minutes to brown off more
Final stage:
  •  Remove delicious rustic country effected bread and place on tray in view of as many people as possible
  •  Do not let them eat it until it has cool for about 15 minutes – you want the crust to harden off as much as possible
I suggest you check out 2 youtube vids that will launch you into a bread making frenzy….
 no knead bread using the hototot pot
 no knead ciabata bread using just a tray

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back from another dimension

How do people find the time to blog.....? Tendril was meant to be my personal blog but somehow I prefer to write in a diary and not have all of cyberspace watching; ha! as if I'm that interesting!

So now 7 months down the line I still haven't found anything to say, now have 3 blogs, don't keep a diary and the thought of blogging as relaxation is enough to make me reach for the Xanax. I prefer visceral and chaotic kinesthetic activities like gardening, BMC, cooking, moving furniture, picking chestnuts ......... anything that doesn't involve sitting in front of a computer screen!

Having said that I will try and not make it 7 months till my next post. x