Indy Convergence-Day 6: How to make a yoga mat fort/recording studio

388341_2334281048161_1844845890_nToday is our workday.  Everyone is busy with building things and extra rehearsals.  I used the time to put together my video/photo project and record the spoken word to accompany it.

I got to spend the morning and afternoon working on the slide show that will accompany spoken word for my side project, Gender Studies.  I asked friends and family to share photos with all ages both living up to and going against gender expectations.  I found it interesting that some people thought they didn’t have what I was looking for.  To quote the text that goes with the piece “Gender is all around us. It is actually taught to us, from the moment we are born. Gender expectations and messages bombard us constantly. Upbringing, culture, peers, community, media, and religion, are some of the many influences that shape our understanding of this core aspect of identity.” (from  Yes we have physical characteristics that make men and women different, but the idea of gender is something that we impose upon ourselves.  While I relate to feminine qualities physically, in terms of my personality and how I behave, I embody more typical masculine qualities than I do the stereotypically feminine qualities.  But we all have varying degrees of both, and to me, that diversity is wonderful thing!

2013-05-26 18.55.27Going through everyone’s photos gave me a great sense of joy.  There is nothing more cute than putting a tiny infant girl in a tutu or a young boy in his Spider Man costume.  Then there’s my friend who is military, but is still feminine as well, has a daughter that is just like her.  She can be a girly girl, but still likes to roll around, get dirty, and play with typical “boys toys” as well more girly things society expects of her.  I honestly do not understand why people are afraid  of diversity and insist on conformity…but then Ellen is exploring that in the Umbrella Project about “otherness”, so I’ll let her answer those questions 😉

After working at home, I made my way back to the Wheeler to record Christina for the spoken word portion.  When I asked Robert where he thought the best place to record the sound was, he immediately started to construct a genius little yoga mat fort for our recording studio.  Christina did a lovely job and I’m excited to add it to the photos and complete the project tomorrow.

Indy Convergence-Day 2: Gender Studies and Butoh

Despite the fact the for some reason, my left quad decided it was very unhappy last night and this morning, it was okay throughout the day and I had another creative, productive, and fun day at Indy Convergence!

181457_4731661381171_470902095_nToday we had a lovely Yoga class, check-in, and then I had rehearsal for my Gender Studies piece.  I’m taking what I started and showed as a work in progress at the last =ibrium Dance Project concert, and adding to it and developing it more.  I’ve taken out all of the silence and extended a few songs and added two in (I Enjoy Being a Girl and Mannish Boy).  If you haven’t seen the piece, all of the songs refer very specifically to gender.  I decided to keep the same voice over as the original, but re-record it with someone with a much more articulate voice than my own, and I’m going to add a sort of video slide show.  I will be showing pictures of myself and others as children and adults both living up to gender expectations as well as going against them.

After another sound experimenting Umbrella Project Rehearsal, we had a Butoh class with Kendra.  I have seen some video of Butoh, but aside from the fact that it is originally from Japan and a modern response with traditional Japanese aesthetic, I knew nothing about it.  I of course did not magically become an expert in a little over an hour workshop, but I now have a very basic kinesthetic idea of what it is, Kendra shared more of the history that I was not aware of before, and I especially found our last guided exercise very satisfying.  I especially enjoyed our guided movement journey from the womb, going through life, and finishing that cycle with the inevitable.

I’ve had my “I’m an old lady so I need to soak in espom salt” bath and now it is time to get some rest so I can do some more converging in the morning.