December 19, 2012
“A lot rides on our capacity to be who we’re not.”
So remarked Christine LaCerva, director of The Social Therapy Group and the East Side Institute’s clinical training. Christine was one of six who I assembled to address the topic, “The Therapeutic Power of Performance,” at a plenary session during Performing the World 2012: Can Performance Change Save the World (PTW’12) in October. The video of the session is now available and I invite you to watch it.
I live performance and its therapeutic power every day and I can easily forget that conversations like the one that took place at PTW 2012 are rare. When I was in Serbia last week I showed parts of the video to some people. Among them was a dear British friend who commented how special it was. He’s someone who’s made the “therapeutic turn” in theatre and the “performance turn” in therapy. Engrossed in the video conversation, he realized how hungry he was for intelligent dialogue on therapy, theatre and development. He urged me to make the video available as widely as I can.
Here’s who you’ll meet: Hector Aristizabal, Lenora Fulani, Artin Göncü, Lin Ching-Hsia, Christine LaCerva and Charles Rojzman (plus a glimpse of “This is Your Ridiculous Life”—a comedy improv show by the Castillo Theatre’s troupe).
Here’s a little of what you’ll hear:
Hector Aristizabal: “Performance is a way to come out, to let the spirit come out. My work is mostly with non-actors – people who have been told, mostly by education, that they cannot act, they cannot sing, they cannot express themselves, so what we create is a place for spontaneity, a place for playing, a place to become again the five year olds who can play.”
Lenora Fulani: “For many of us who are poor, it’s not that you don’t think we can become things, but that you don’t know there are things to become. So going out and performing and starting to have that experience is extremely powerful, there is nothing like it. I love it with adults and I love to see it with kids. It’s the thing that keeps you going in a world that’s challenging.”
Artin Göncü: “The need to improvise is a very significant part of the human experience. I think by improvising, by making variations of the narratives we begin to tell ourselves that there is more than one way of existing in the world and there is nothing more therapeutic, more healing, than to see we have the power to change our way of being.”
Lin-Ching Hsia: “Every time you get a new chance to perform, you have an opportunity to get yourself engaged into a forming process so you can reorganize what you can do. Every time is forming.”
To hear more from these remarkable and inspirng people, watch the video. It’s at Performing the World along with dozens of photos, and at the East Side Institute’s Vimeo channel along with dozens more videos.