Sunday, August 11, 2013

Miller you sleep

There was to be a meeting.  A meeting at the Mill.  A gathering to give thanks - a homage. They arrived, bought provisions & slept.  They began to drum, sing & recite text. They found a small clearing in front of the Mill & hung a sheet. They created a series of songs & text following memory & instinct. From within a story emerged. Three days passed. It was time to prepare the feast. They cooked all afternoon. Everything was ready or at least as ready as could be given the time. The guests, who were actually the family and friends of the caretakers of the land, drifted to the place. There was a meeting, a feast & a giving of thanks. 

This was not the meeting. There was another encounter. A facing. "Miller, you sleep" he suggested. 

Who are you?
Who is knocking at the door?
Crying out for the door to open
Without even searching for me.
Even though I don't know you
I can't bare to leave you.
I try to open the door.
The door is latched from the inside
And the outside. 
This you don't seem to know.
If I open the door from the inside
What good is it.
Who are you
Who dare to be birthed at a closed door.

- Yi Sang

Still it was not a question of who you are but what are you?
You who have preserved the Mill for centuries now.
Have housed many. Provided sustenance, shelter, solitude & silence.

In the beginning is relation.

We came to honor ... Arrival. Camp. Drum. Love Song. Soldier Song. Bird Song. "... it has ever been ..." Separation Song. Meeting/Correct Equation 4. Spinning Wheel Song & Mask dance. The Colors. River Song. Mill teaching song.

In the end there was a promise of tomorrow.

Nothing more than ...

They walked to the nearest village & to the orchid field, napped on the hammock, he swam in the lake and worked clearing the forest, she sang & drummed for the visitors & they built fires. The stars burned deep into the night sky & the gentle rains came. Snails crawled the paths & they bathed in the hot waters of the tub.

Later she said that night another dreamed the trees danced around the Mill & much later a baby came.

::Note:: ... This was a dream me come true ...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Enchanted Trails - Hiking with John Balzaretti

Trekking The play is an original and fascinating to re-discover a territory, combining immersion in its nature and its real-world scenarios, the one inside the "emotional landscapes" suggested by the proposal stage, food and wine that complement it.

The rustic dining and entertainment offered at the end of the walk are, in fact, the crown and the amplification of local knowledge through the enchanting charm of trails running through them.

The Trek Theatrical Collinarea be held Saturday July 27 2013. Departure is from the entrance of the Castle of Lari with meeting at 17.00. From here we will move to reach, in about an hour and a half, the 'farm Stains, through a series of easy practicability and the typical Tuscan landscapes and rural rustic, made ​​of towering cypress trees, maritime pines and cool shadows holm.

Once there participants will witness the spectacle of John Balzaretti "Pilgrim. Pilgrim, "taste the proposals of the refreshment prepared by the same rural farm Stains and accompanied by wines from Tenuta di Ceppaiano, offered by 'Company Castellani.

The participation fee is 15 € and includes trekking, entertainment and dining options. The return to Lari is expected around 20.30 with the help of transportation.

Participants are advised to wear suitable shoes and clothing in the march on rough terrain, as well as hats and allocation of water.

The trek will be organized to achieve the minimum number of 15 participants. In case of rain, the organizers reserve the right to move the event to another date or, if not possible, to proceed to its cancellation.

::Note::  ... This experience was the highlight of the Festival ... a deep connection between Tuscany & Dante was forged ... many performances revolved around Dante (mostly the Inferno) I was told it lended itself to drama ... we broke bread halfway on the Trek ... a story was shared which I had no idea  about  but at the end I witnessed Canto 33  ... Balzaretti transformed from an engaging host & racanteur to Count Ugolino ... amazing & unforgetable ... from that moment the mystery of my being in the Tuscany hills was imprinted ... 

Monday, July 22, 2013


Finally, after close to fifteen years of following reports, articles, books and personal imaginings I attended a presentation of the Workcenter of Thomas Richards and Jerzy Grotowski on a wonderous July evening in Lari, Italy. Both teams of the Workcenter participate in the Collinarea Festival.

We ascended ninty-five steps to the top of the Lari castle where Mario Biagini, director of the Open Program we are about to witness, greeted comers with an open-hearted smile, bending down to chat with children and embracing friends as they arrived. As we trickled in the two male and five female actors sat, squatted or stood on the periphery of an open space. A box, staff, cane, bones and percussive instruments (bell, rattle, stone, tin pan) were discretely though obviously carefully placed in the 30X20 foot cobble-stoned square. We sat on chairs or carpets surrounding the space. All were dressed in white and barefoot, exactly as I had seen in the many documented photos. The progam notes (google translation as is for entire festival is Italian)

Open Program - A dedication in action (Studio) 

Part of the research and practice of group of the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards is based on the use and exploration of traditional songs of the southern United States. They are songs that possess qualities such as to cause intense interpersonal processes, and give way to a circulation of contacts between the actors and bystanders. 
In the practice of our work we wonder what might be the function of these songs and, in relation to the processes set in motion and the event to which they give life, whatever its nature and meaning. We ask ourselves a question: is it possible that the quality of these processes can circulate and somehow reach the caregiver? And if this is possible, what can possibly happen? Touches us the insight that such an event can take place in the name of a shared desire. If so, it could be the occasion when, in the name of such a desire, even those who act together and do it for someone else. In other words: offer a special kind of dedication. 
The Open Program would like to invite you to be present with us as he knocks on the door of this shared desire and perhaps forgotten. And see if the door opens. 

The event began with a seated women singing a song in English  ... sounded like a lament or cry her face wracked with pain and voice trembling ... a gospel song, I guessed, though couldn't be certain ... a string of songs fron the american south, occasionally interrupted by text followed ... each individual centered a song supported by the group both vocally and with a patterned movement/choreography ... all movement was light, precise and consistent in all bodies with very little individual variation ... a dancing designed, it seemed, to circulate the air/song/energy ... only once did an actor slip into "characterization" ... there were in the songs an intoning of a personal process & actions suggested/associated moments of memory or ritual - even narrative ...

A song/call for a new day completed the cycle of action ... we had journeyed the human condition experiencing sorrow, betrayal, fear, resurrection ... I don't know if insights were aroused ... I felt the tranquility of the Tuscany twilight ... there had been an ever so cautious knocking at the heart's door ... I knew I had seen a practice ... a heart of the practice ... it felt we had been preoccupied too much with pleasing the caregiver to experience a release or liberation ... yet this was a dedication after all  ... 

... descending the steps afterwards was a neither a coming or going ... I had absurdly journeyed close to the home of my grandparents to share a desire, a quest and heard songs of the American south ... walking the narrow streets into the open piazza I listened to the ancient, medieval castle, first documented in 937 ... the stone walls were themselves a dedication in action ... an action demanding centuries of devotion ... 

My thoughts turn to performative activity and creation ... In his book Creative Land, anthropologist James Leach ... "describes cultural practices where the creation of new things, and the ritualised forms of exchange (the performative) enacted around them, function to “create” individuals and their social relations, “creating” the community they inhabit." ... Which community do We inhabit ...

:: Note :: ... Wrote this post while traveling ... Completely disappeared while writing and just like theatre repeated ... what is lost is the uncalculated first impression ... 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Versailles garden

The five hour walk with the Cised group in the Versailles Gardens and Park proved delightful despite the grey skies. Minimal crowds, perhaps deterred by the cool, wet weather, made for a leisurely pace.

Though defiantly the garden of Andre Le Notre a wonderful contemporary ambience infiltrates with the works of Giuseppe Penone. He articulately states:

“Being given the possibility of letting my work dialogue with that of Le Nôtre in Versailles is a great privilege. The garden is an emblematic place which sums up Western thought on the relationship between man and nature. 
Laid out to exalt the power of one man, it underlines the force and power of nature which minimises man’s action, requiring unceasing maintenance work to preserve it. 
The complexity of the garden’s design suggests the multiple ways of seeing it, and its extension and grandiose aspect contrast with the tiny dimensions of the person walking around it. The individual disappears in the garden, to be subsumed into the mind of the human grouping which generated such an organisation of nature. 
My work provokes a similar thought in me: the objective mimicry of the works cancels out my action as sculptor and concentrates the attention on the extraordinary intelligence of plant growth and on the perfect aesthetic choices present in nature.” 
His statement reflects much of the walking experience. Ghosts are the persistence of the past into the presence. Whenever in Europe I see the ghosts clearly ... wondering if they see me ... ghosts are the momentary manifestations of things that persist and wait to be embodied again at specific moments by specific individuals.

Walking in the Gardens and Park generated a hospitality of ephemeral yet rooted nature ...

:: Note ::  walking is good for the sole ...

Friday, July 05, 2013


Visited a dear friend at Maison de Sante de Bellevue.

He was frail looking.  Thoughts came to mind.

We are made of a core that expresses the entire concept of self much like a radical the main component of an ideogram (an ideogram being a written sign that expresses an entire concept rather than a sound like a letter of the alphabet).

When a clear gaze comes from outside the core can draw attention - various at[tensions]

The core may be a gate or threshold and is certainly a border.

We listen to each other on the threshold as we h[ear].

We are receptive to a gleam coming from an invisible gleam of self.

Through the cracks in the core we see in-between spaces as the sunlight and/or moonlight shines.

Our sounds stand beneath the core as a darkness ... the sound doesn't block the gateway but connects this side with the other so hearing is no longer impeded ... yet  the sentence is a wall.

Think of self as gateways/openings not as repositories/containers where meanings might be stored like possessions.

words: threshold, gate, to hear, to open, in-between space, to gleam, darkness

to open the word ... not sentences ... not language ... not speech ...
to open the word imitates silence.

We stand core to core to process/translate a specific significance inherent in each other which manifests self in its translatability.

::Note:: ... wandering from one border to another ... thanks to CELAN READS JAPANESE Susan Bernofsky (tr.), Yoko Tawada ...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Waits in Vienna 1979

“This reminds me of a place I used to work in National City, California, called Spotco Self Service,” Waits says as he leans against a pump. “I worked for a gentleman named Charles Spotco. I was always late for work. I used to stay out at night. I’d come dragging to work, used to get there about ten-thirty in the morning. He’d chew me out and scream at me for being late. He always said I’d never amount to nothing. I never thought I’d be standing in a gas station in Vienna Austria. If I’d of told him that one day, Spotco, I’ll be leaning on a gas pump at a gas station in Vienna Austria, he would have said you gotta be out of your mind.” - Tom Waits Sings and Tells Stories in Tom Waits: a Day in Vienna, a 1979 Austrian Film

 ... was at that concert in Vienna ... his band was onstage for a good twenty minutes when finally he stumbled on looking disinterested & bedevilled ... nothing but a ruse ... the audience was restless ... it was the Vienna Konzerthaus not a bar in the mid-west ... a cigarette dangled from his mouth & a hat tipped down concealing his face as he sat at the piano plunking random notes it seemed before gravelling out a song ...

 ... my first thought was this is a performance art piece ... what a great character ... i was involved in "experimental theatre" after all,  everything was performace art ... then he sang with jerky movements, a slither-slide side step and a death defying concentration ... almost thirty-five years later the images burn into my imagination ... the concert footage of the TV film catches a bit of the scene but not the ethos ... the backstage shot as we the audience that night demanded an encore is incredible ...

... waiting backstage so to speak with Henry Woolf & Susan Williamson before a reading at the Temple Henry turned to me and said "there is nothing like waiting backstage ... few people know what it is like." ... Henry is always young in spirit but my goodness Waits look young & devious in Vienna ...

:: Note :: ... over now ...

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Before fb & twitter & blogging is what it is now i wrote many a post like this.

... Herbert Blau ... knew of him only through his writings. The Impossible Theatre: A Manifesto came at the right time and i continued to read much of what he wrote. His theories attracted me at the start of my studies into theatre in the late sixties ... feel indebted to him & his passing causes me to pause & reflect on all those theatre workers who have shaped my path ...

... the first dandelions came this week ... a true celebration of spring ... await their arrival with patient anticipation ... my grandfather (now repeating myself though should write about Isadore Montalbetti) made dandelion wine & i love their sunny colour & their strength ... they have their season seeming to disappear in the heat of summer ... still each year they bring memories and smiles ...

I stopped.

The joy & discipline of writing/linking/searching/surfing waned. The purpose was never to be read. If another were to read or even comment there was a flushed excitment.

The enchantment at the beginning was to carve out a presence in this mysterious web which gave an illusion of being, despite a largeness, actually quite small. It felt like language could remember & writing "what was" held a little of what was falling away. The posts stood outside of the disappearing ... even traceable. So what? So what does the present hold? Always there was the question of memory. Often the timing was all wrong.

I am in & between leaving with & against inevitably.

I love watching son Stefan stage manage.

:: Note :: ... reading lamants, accusations & elegies ...

Sunday, May 12, 2013


This past term had the oppotunity to instruct "upper year" classes. After an eternity of first year classes was excited. Posting the complete written responses. 

Course Number: Dram 467(02)          
Course Title: Expressive Movement IV
Instructor: Raymon Montalbetti 
Academic Year of Course: 2012/2013 

This class was fabulous to begin with, but as we proceeded the work revealed its meaning and lessons to us. There is no one besides Raymon that could have led us on this journey. I will never forget what I've learned here. Amazing. Thanks Ray! 

This class had a very open structure which was something I was not accustomed to. I enjoyed my time, but sometimes found my attention waning as I didn't know what our learning was striving towards. Overall a very neat experience. 

Raymon is a very unique teacher, one who I think that the department should use more with the higher years. Raymon's class has been an amazing experience, and he is such a patient and generous teacher. 

Raymon is a wonderful soul. He provides an invaluable perspective on the theatre business. He loved each of us and encouraged us. We had very interesting classes, things that we hadn't explored in other classes. It was an invaluable class, a wonderful final class. 

Was a very intriguing approach to working through expression and movement. Very different approach, but so truly wonderful. 

It would be nice to see Raymon teach more upper year classes. 

Raymon's perspective on acting and life is eye opening. I feel incredibly honored to consider myself a student of his. 

Very different but valuable class. Would love to work with Raymon again. 

This class was taught with wonderful heart. I learned a lot and felt it fed my spirit more than anything. Raymon is a true artist who allowed our inner artist to grow. 

This class was great for being free to practice and apply learned movement and learn more new things. 

Course Number: Dram 367(02)      
Course Title: Fundamentals of Movement II 
Academic Year of Course: 2012/2013 
Instructor: Raymon Montalbetti 

This was an amazing class and a wonderful experience. I have learned many things that will help me in the future. I have learned a lot about my body and the movement experience. I am more than happy with this course and hope that others get to experience this class as well. 

Thank you so much for everything Ray. This class has been an incredible journey and we have all grown so much from you and with you. Thank you. 

Ray is an incredible addition to the department. He is enthusiastic, compassionate and genuine. I loved his class. 

The most profound things I have learned about movement I have learned in this class. 

Raymon sparks and encourages creativity and a journey. Hang on to him as long as you can. 

Inexplicably (but not), the best most explorative wonderful exciting satisfying experience and class. Thank you! 

:: Note :: ... teaching smaller numbers was a delight ... am not academically qualified to teach upper year as am dedicated to spending time teaching youth in "lower" education institutions ... still to receive such response was fulfilling ... thanks ...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Friday, May 03, 2013

Workshop to come

... associology is not highly plotted, but certainly is elaborately structured ... plot, character, setting and theme logic are potential paralysis ... related or corresponding event, recurring image and action are the essential substance of meaningful density ...

repetition is a pattern of associology and also of dream and neurosis ... a condition ... without tradition, without belief the process is that of filling or emptying ...

... associology is breakdown or breakthrough work ... the self is the obstacle ... the only consolation & grace of work is to obliterate or to encompass ...

"Now what?" Is always the question.

Now what? A workshop.

A workshop for creative workers exploring inner aspects of action. Starts with the whole body in space listening to the bones and singing the sound to develop a capacity of open, vigilant awareness. Moves to playing with & devising materials in improvisational time to experience and discover personal impulses of place/practise/action. Finally to encounter ... "Now what?"

:: Note :: ... Thinking about Associology again ... & upcoming WS ...

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Find the lost eye

trees breathe seasons time
not still as boulders
nor rapid as the river
more like tall, tall
grasses waiting

waiting for
a sign
a companion's touch
the whispering wind

if I waited that long
ants would devour me
& the sky would darken
to briefly open crying:

"dance skeleton
dance bitter
before the moon."

it was the bones singing
with the one-eyed snake
my father smiled
from the bellybeast
smashing fists down
shaking his head:

"Find the the lost eye."

for years & years I have
walked trails by the river
listening for ancient stories
the words no one knows
climbing out over the water
seeing nothing beneath
but mud or the sun diamonds

sage & holy strangers,
warriors & birds overhead
I turn & wait another year
to retrieve the flames
under whatever floats
around dancing whirlpools
even under the ice of tears
in this deeper absent sky

"Find the lost."

the uproot pelicans
circle above the weir
each passing spring
it gets harder to know
how much is hypothetical
and how much is ...


:: Note :: ... much gets lost ... more is missed ...

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Elements towards a Cartography of Training to Performance

sources      vocabulary   environment   structure   interaction
constraints  sequences   transitions      rhythm     exchange
(training)    (etude) (score)           (play)     (performance)
accept         commit         develop          offer          share        
Glyph       Petroglyphs       Practice        Witness         Audience
         substitution to augmentation to modification to redefinition

                                   Three Key Characteristics 
 •Ubiquity       •Intimacy     •Embeddedness •Playingness

:: Note :: ... developed while working on projects a year ago ...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

movement reflection

Reflecting on classes just completed.

The body is, yet not only, movement.
In work there is the emptiness called space ... or is it heart or rigor?
In play the space parts then moves in to fill where the body's been ... or is it  absence that parts and fills or energy?
We have deeply personal reasons for moving, working and playing.
Yet always we partner to hold the space and to keep things whole.
Memory is on our side as long as we observe, listen, encounter and reveal in dancingness.
"It is about finding a true sense of your path in the theatre and in life and finding where it links. The only way it makes sense to me in any literal way is through the analogy of the waves of the ocean hitting the beaches of the earth. I see that theatre and art and the way of the actor is the ocean, a vast swell of the human spirit, whose full potential can never quite be tapped (though we strive to do so) and the earth represents our human, mundane life, it represents the body we are stuck to the ground with and it is when they meet that we are allowed to move, breathe, create, and feel. Is that a start to an understanding of the way of the actor?" (from a student response)
:: Note :: ... My work is called associology ... more of a spirit than a discipline. One aim of this field is to retrieve an aliveness possessed by individuals, discover in dancingness & singingness impulses and feed this as an encounter back to the source from which they came. As a result of this process, people might be able to source something even as they unveil & reveal their autonomy. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013


... the black and white photo of the northern lights (aurora borealis) has become my adopted tag/profile ifsphere icon web signature ...

... a photo my father took while working in Fort Churchill, Manitoba Canada ... he had till then devoted his life to plasma physics and upper atmospheric reseach spending nights on the lookout tower photographing the sky ... place of imagination ... the icon spells if ... the solid tower and wave lights visualize the splendour of the night sky ... hints at the mystery of l(if)e ...

As the solar wind interacts with the edge of the earth's magnetic field, some of the particles are trapped by it and they follow the lines of magnetic force down into the ionosphere, the section of the earth's atmosphere that extends from about 60 to 600 kilometres above the earth's surface. When the particles collide with the gases in the ionosphere they start to glow, producing the spectacle that we know as the auroras ... (auraora borealis)

... what i love is though much thought goes into such things it is often an intuitive act and then only much later comes the articulation of the process ...

:: Note :: ... it was Dave Winer's Mini-podcast: Why is Mao Tse-tung my Twitter icon? that encouraged me to recover my explanation from a lost post  ... many thanks to Wayback Machine ...

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Term end

... term concludes ... an exploration ... last summer returned to the source of my beginnings & was given the gift this term to practice a reflection ... began with see-listen-encounter-reveal ... 
Thus 'revealing' is not as much an act of showing as it is an inner deed of letting, releasing, and offering ... a transition from the 'outer' to the 'inner' ... from 'work' to 'deed': "The actor should not use his organism to illustrate 'a movement of the soul,' he should accomplish this movement with his organism. (Kris Salata. The Unwritten Grotowski. p.55 with the embedded end quote from Grotowski's Towards A Poor Theatre. p. 123)
... term concludes with a deed ...  a deed without a name ...  Deed, by means of movement/dancingness/aliveness, is merely an instrument of the body, the heart and the breath of the doers ...

:: Note :: ... my humblest thanks to students so committed to the way ...

Friday, January 04, 2013

course 2

Expressive Movement IV: The way towards a personal movement training.

Investigating creative potentialities through a rigorous confrontation with the elements of an actors movement/action.

 Aspects of inquiry:
- Centering, grounding, body mapping, rhythm and flow
- Space awareness devoted to:  taking care and reacting to the space, spatial  balancing, creating partnership with the space, in the space with an object.                                    
- Pre-creative potentialities of movement.
- Plastiques and Corporals 
(Jerzy Grotowski and the Teatr Laboratorium)
- Relations between precision and organicity.
- Associations: the impulses / the vigilant mind.
- Associations within a structure.
- Gesture (Michael Chekov)
- Methodologies: theory and performance praxis  
- Dancingness: Aliveness, presence and encounter
- Reveal, activate and transform

Participation / 40

Projects / 60

1. Individual / 20
Keep a detailed journal/log of class experiences. The log will include a research section and a practical exploration of the concepts of Joseph Chaikin: 'space', 'place', territory', 'zone', 'sphere', 'abandonment', 'exile', 'occupation' and 'habitation'

2. Partner Object / 20
Take inspiration from different types of iconography which affect physicality. Through an intense improvisational journey create a dancingness with partner.

3. Group / 20
 Create a group session to reflect on the terms investigations

:: Note :: ... courses are pretty much the same as both groups are experiencing new work ... 

Thursday, January 03, 2013


Fundamentals of Movement II: An actors movement training.

Investigating an actors training through a rigorous confrontation with movement on the body, movement in space and movement as encounter.

 Aspects of inquiry:

- Centering, grounding, body mapping, rhythm and flow
- Space awareness devoted to: taking care and reacting to the space, spatial  balancing, creating partnership with the space
- Plastiques and Corporals. 
(Jerzy Grotowski and the Teatr Laboratorium)                                    
- Mask in movement.
- Relaxation, flexibility, discipline, spontaneity.
- Attention and connection.
- Working with the dreaming body.
- Associations and impulses.
- Gesture. (Michael Chekov)
- Energy, lightness and precision.
- Creation of a movement score: its logic and actions.
- Methodologies: theory and performance praxis.  
- Dancingness, Aliveness, Encounter.

Participation / 40

Projects / 60

1. Individual / 20
Keep a detailed journal/log of class experiences. The log will include a Research Section.

2. Individual Mask Dance / 20
Take inspiration from different types of sources that affect physicality and interconnection. Compose an étude (movement patterns) sourcing work with the mask.

3. Group Text Rendering / 20
Work with selected fragments of texts studying ways words associate towards gesture and action. Root words in the body to study the interdependence of actions with physicality. Devise an action and a Deed.

:: Note :: ... thought to place course outline here ... maybe a bad thought ...