Today Valentina led a short spatial sensitivity exercise in our new rehearsal space.
We first had to find a position in the room in which we felt most comfortable. Safe and at ease.
Next, we had to search for a different place, this time somewhere which made us feel afraid. At risk or uncomfortable.
In both positions we took some time to note what different factors played into us feeling particularly safe or frightened. We then moved between the two, feeling the different stages of our response during the transition between both areas.
What I found particularly interesting about this exercise was that, despite the fact that our rehearsal room is a very welcoming space (I do not find it inherently "scary"), this task to search for a place in which we are most frightened revealed very clear elements of primal fear, contained within the "everyday".
- I noticed that several people's "space of fear" was in one of the darker areas of the room, due to the angled ceiling lights which illuminated the central space whilst casting shadow into the corners.
- Many people also turned their backs to the rest of the group (ie. facing into a corner) in a way which not only limited their view, but left them very vulnerable to anyone or anything else in the room.
- Both myself and Elodie chose a particularly dirty spot to look at, and I felt as though the filth was a big trigger to a more instinctive sense of discomfort and disgust. This is something which takes on new dimensions when you focus in on it, and a stain or patch of dirt fills your whole field of vision.
- I sat very close to a locked door through which a continuous mechanical/electrical hum emanated. This unknown and unverifiable sound soon became both a source of frustrated curiosity, and unease.
Something that also came to my attention was that there can be an interesting overlap between the places that make us afraid, and the positions we move to when we are afraid. For example: if we restrict our view by turning to face into a corner or covering our eyes, does this lack of sight not perpetuate our feelings of fear? If we brace ourselves or curl up into a ball, do we not become hypersensitive, tense or even more vulnerable?