Taal means rhythm. I always knew songs have a rhythm, dances have rhythms but a body having a rhythm was very new to me. I first heard of it while listening to the conversation series of the vessel where Eilon Morris talked about rhythms of a body and how it helps to connect a performers with the audience and with the other performers.
The residency program always had new ways of learning things, one amongst this was establishing a rhythm of your own.
Initially, as we started the process, we dance to different genres of music. I was thrilled to do this because I love to move randomly to music and since I am not a trained dancer, doing these contemporary movements has been my go to. It was very easy for me to dance on these different music pieces.
Soon after, we paired and danced with another body, that’s when I realized that two bodies perceive music and rhythms differently, so one common pattern had to be established to dance with another body. It was a challenge but it was also fun and interesting to working with another person just locking gaze or having a point of contact and still maintaining a rhythm where the bodies could move together. Shown below are instances from the same.
Another part of this activity was where one performer would remain static and others had to perform around that body. This again was a bit difficult as it took time for multiple bodies to catch a common rhythm. Sometimes, there would be performs interacting with the static body while some wouldn’t. It still was very interesting to see how so many patterns were formed as bodies picked different rhythms. Shown below are images where I was the static figure and Prachi was the other performer.
The last activity we did was playing different instruments and establishing rhythms with them. I struggled a lot because the instruments were new and it takes me time to get comfortable with things before going all in. But since we didn’t have that much time, to familiarize with each one of them, it was a quick sessions where we tried all the available instruments including our hands to produce music that had a coherent rhythm. Shown below is an image from this activity.
All these activities helped me to find myself and my rhythm. While it was easy for me to find a pattern in dance, it was a bit difficult to do it with instruments. However, the overall experience of these activities was amazing. The way a single body acts is very different to that of two bodies and even more complex when it is multiple bodies. The way a mind and body perceive a sound or rhythm is also very different. But the way all these come together is beautiful and inspiring.
I personally felt like it is similar to finding balance in our daily lives. We perceive things in a certain way, while others have their own ways and to settle down to one common pattern takes time, but it is definitely worth it because the work so produced will be beautiful.