“The rehearsal process is an opportunity to work through things collaboratively.” Liz Lerman
How do you work through things in your life? Does that approach usually work? How you make your best contact with other people?
In the 1970’s when I was a dancer, I was fortunate to study improvisation with Liz Lerman in Washington, DC and to perform a dance she created for Choreo 18, the modern dance company of which I was a member.
Recently, I watched a video interview with her. Many good memories flooded my head, especially learning how to creatively explore my movement in more depth. But what struck me most profoundly was when she asked, “Do you use rehearsals in your life?’
The Value of Rehearsing
She pointed out that in rehearsals you try out different movements, analyze what you are doing, and look for the right movement to create what you want others to see or what you want to communicate. She then suggested that perhaps we could do this to discover how we can be in a “better way together.”
When a problem arises, how do we attempt to solve it? It may be a recurring problem to which we found a workable solution in the past, so we do what we have always done. But if the challenge is a new issue or complex, we may have to improvise by considering and trying out several possibilities in order to find a solution that is workable.
Rehearsals Show Us New Options
Certainly the pandemic has challenged us to find new ways to entertain or enrich ourselves without being face to face with others. Liz and the members of her walking group have adapted to the quarantine by using their phones as they walk through the streets or forests. Some of them live in different countries, but can still connect and walk “together.”
My rehearsals with words continue every day as I write, exchanging words and tenses to say exactly what I want to say. It’s rare that I’m happy with the first version of any sentence, so I must rehearse various ways to describe the perfect moment or spoken sentence. I may change the character who speaks or let the verbal statement become a thought.
Rehearsals Can Improve Relationships
In relationships we have to develop ways to communicate, especially when conflict arises. A rehearsal may be needed to develop a satisfactory approach to discuss our differences. Shouting never leads us to an effective conclusion so we need to ask, as Liz does, how can we be together in a better way?
Perhaps sitting down, each with a cup of tea or coffee, is a good start to the conversation. We may need to Zoom with the people with whom we don’t live. Being face to face always improves communication.
When we have discerned a way to talk respectfully with each other, we will probably have more than one rehearsal before we have created the perfect solution for the two of us. Even then our plan may often need a few adjustments.
The show that is our lives must go on. Rehearsals always bring our creativity to the surface and hopefully help us find the best solution to our challenges. During this dance of life, may you rehearse what is the best in all areas of your life.
© 2021 Georganne Spruce