This week i learned something about what is private and what is personal. I had heard this word, “private” a few times, in the context of what works or what belongs on stage and what does not. I was asking myself if i was the only one who didn’t have a clear idea of what this “private” really was. Were there some things that were just inappropriate to put on stage? How was i going to know what those things were?
Then came a class disscussion led, or supported by Lilo. This helped to make a few things a bit clearer.
If we give it some thought and if we practice observing, then we know “private” when we see it. It doesn’t belong on stage in the sense that it is not a part of the story being told. It’s something which is not meant for the audience but which never the less occurs in front of the audience.
And what is the line between private and not-private when we just practice and not perform? When we do a warm up? Or dance contact improvisation in a jam? I probably need to think more about this to come up with a good answer but right now i think about it as a line that separates between moments when i have my focus on myself (my sore muscles, my feeling tired, my plans for the afternoon/evening, a conversation i had yesterday with a friend… etc etc) and on the other hand moments when i have my focus on the work (how is my foot moving? what direction do i have now? what muscle tonus? who is moving next to me? etc…)
The other word was “personal”. That’s also a tricky word. But to me (for now, until new and deeper insights) the word “personal” simply refers to a single person. Everything that somehow directly “belongs” to that person is personal. Personality is a very good example. The combination of all the qualities, traits, behaviours and habits that make up some pattern which we identify with one person.