#ablebodiesandstones – research blog – 2020

(One year later…
I promised myself that I would only research and create #ablebodiesandstones when I get funding, putting it on ice in the times between. By now I have written 20 funding applications to federal funds, Berlin funds, to foundations, to funded residencies – whatever I could find. Since last April I haven’t received any funds, with two applications still to be decided. As always in the funding game, this is quite sobering…
In retrospect it is okay, as I didn’t really have the time after last April. I had a wonderful, full, and fulfilling year. And I was exhausted in the end. Yearning for time off, dreaming of a sabbatical.
So, now, we are in the middle of this Corona pandemic, with all my performances cancelled until the end of August (and later…). I have received some emergency relief money from the government. Apart from keeping myself very busy by art activism and networking, I am at home. I could regard this as a sabbatical. I don’t have to do anything, except what I want to do…
So I have been trying to calm down a bit, to find stillness, to focus. Writing this is the first time in six weeks that I have managed to sit down, and gather my thoughts. So I decided to look at #ablebodiesandstones and check in where I stand.)

 

Ceiling walking and bodies and stones

My body
The only thing that I manage to do is regular training at home. My training space is in lock down, so there’s no aerial training with height. But I have a wonderful appartment with a big space for training. Not high of course, but I do have a trapeze, a big ground mat, lots of props for strengthening and stretching.
I have been teaching online classes about aerial strengthening and stretching, and I’ve been following a few handstand classes and other conditioning – even had some break through with my handstands!
So I am fit. I am even gaining strength, being very diligent with core conditioning and abs! After all this Corona stuff I will have beautiful splits and a decent handstand! I hope 😉

My apparatus
Being an equipment hoarder paid off for once: I „inherited“ the ceiling walking equipment of Doris Marxheimer, who used to be a ceiling walker in Eastern German Staatszirkus. So I have her original DDR equipment! And I set it up in my living room, just high enough to be able to hang without touching the ground.
I set myself a new challenge for the Corona time: to learn to walk on the ceiling!
This is so much harder than I thought!!! I thought it would be like hanging from my feet off the trapeze. But, no, it involves some other muscles and totally new movements…

My other apparatus
With my partner, who lives in Brandenburg north of Berlin, we regularly escape to the country side to get out of the apartment. He is a mono-cyclist and one-wheeler, and he wouldn’t walk a meter when he can go on his wheel. So I have been pushed to learn mono-cycling. Since the middle of March I made some real progress, now being able to ride cross country, through the woods, over fields and stony tracks. These last days I have been enjoying to „surf“ through stones and pebbles a lot. A whole new approach to #ablebodiesandstones.

What else
In October 2019 I was invited to share my research process at Internationales Frauen*Theater-Festival in Frankfurt/Main, curated by amazing Barbara Carvalho. I just received some fotos from my presentation, and they inspire me a lot to continue with my research! So I want to share some memories about that presentation:

First I showed explorations with my hanging stones (It was great that this festival was happening on the wonderful site of Antagon Theater – rocks, stones, and pebbles everywhere. So I didn’t need to bring any stones from Berlin and could go by train!). I walked on hanging rocks, danced around swinging stones, balanced pebbles on swinging rocks.

#ablebodiesandstones, Foto: Stefan Chytrek

#ablebodiesandstones, Foto: Stefan Chytrek

And in a second part I established rules to work with stones on the trapeze, and also encouraged the audience to give me rule that I had to follow:

– never let go of a stone with your left hand
– keep a stone between your knees
– put a stone in your mouth
– keep a stone under your chin
– never touch a stone with your hands
– etc…….

#ablebodiesandstones, Foto: Stefan Chytrek

#ablebodiesandstones, Foto: Stefan Chytrek

 

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