In My Language

In Lyall Bay this afternoon, over cups of tea and dominoes, a bunch of  got talking about art and communication. Which lead to discussion about language and how much is communicated by the way things are said rather than what is said. I think we were talking about acting exercises where you repeat the same phrase with the stress on different parts of the phrase, thereby changing it’s entire meaning each time. Anyway… autism came up. And we remembered this video made by an autistic woman to try and explain her experience of the world.

When I watch it I can’t help but think that her direct communion with the physicality of life is something I look for when making theatre. Only it takes hours and hours of exercises and experimentation in order to “let go” enough to be able to do what she can so naturally. And then put that communication into a context that will make sense to an audience. There is something to effortlessly truthful about responding physically to your surroundings without the filter of language to change and reframe experience. I love the way dance can do that.