Over the last couple of weeks, you probably must have noticed us going absolutely nuts over this thing called Gaga. It may have caused your brain to get stuck in a “rah-rah-ramah-rah” loop or whichever (loop-heavy) Lady Gaga song you’re familiar with – for which we apologise. But Gaga is precisely the opposite of that – of using and training your body and mind to detach yourself from loops, repetitions, habits and self-consciousness and instead find paths of freedom, connection and strength. And the very same Gaga is coming to India for the very first time, to your very own Shoonya – Centre for Art and Somatic Practices, Bangalore.
What is Gaga
Gaga is a style of training the body devised by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. It is physicality, sensuality, grit, humour, pleasure, intelligence, flexibility coming out to play, leaving behind all their pre-conceived inhibitions and just going gaga! This movement language is finding more relevance in our current times of abject divisiveness – where the mind has declared such autocracy on the other faculties that there is no space for play.
This workshop will help you connect to the mover within you. It brings together the physical body and the imagination to an original state of “finding their groove”.
It is a serious way of training the body and works on physical sensations, flexibility, agility, stamina while persuading the mind to stop being such a uptight, self-conscious censor.
Before this begins to sound like esoteric mumbo jumbo, we’d like to tell you Gaga is for everyone. Through the class, participants will be guided by a series of evocative instructions that increase awareness. What is increased awareness? Just being in your body long enough, feeling the sensations – undeterred by the anxious ways of the mind. The sensations are allowed to build and amplify creating a movement that less based on “five-six-seven-eight’ and more on the pleasure of movement. The body is guided through information that is built in layer upon physically-challenging, multi sensory layer. Everybody has their own experience of Gaga – the improvisational dynamic of movement exploration goes beyond the physical and maybe even the mental.
In Gaga We Will:
•Open blocked pathways
•Heighten our senses and connect them to our pleasure
•Find our groove
•Connect to our strength and power
•Work with any injuries
•Become more aware of how we move and our habits
Is Gaga for me?
“Gaga is very open, it’s move as you need to move, move as you’d like to move,”
“Sometimes people aren’t ready or not interested in what Gaga asks of you. Gaga asks you to really pay attention to your body, to your sensations, to the inner world, the outer world.”
Gaga is more than an exercise. While the teacher opens the path, the journey is all yours. Gaga pervades the mental spaces as much as it does the physical. To an individual, it means exploration of what that particular body is capable of. Playing up the strengths and inquiring gently into the weakness. If you’ve been feeling reticent, held-back or are simply looking for new creative explorations, Gaga is certainly the path you need to choose.
Am I too old for Gaga?
There’s no such thing as too old for Gaga. This workshop is only open to individuals above 16 years of age, simply because children are already masters in the practice. They are not consumed by the self-conscious mind. They already know that to be silly, to play is a far better way to be. In Gaga, you have to be connected with your sense of humour and have to let go of judgement and the self-critic lording over your brain. It’s quite refreshing really. You should try it.
Gaga and “non-dancers”
There’s no such thing as a “non-Gaga-person”. Gaga isn’t based on strength, ability or stamina but rather works to build it. It doesn’t matter where you stand in your training – you could be an “artist” or you could just be a somebody who has never danced before but wants to try this – Gaga works just as well. As long you’re here to explore and create as opposed to showing off, you’re ready for some Gaga!
Gaga and Physical Training
In this culture that has become obsessed with shapes and splits and abs and numbers, Gaga helps trainers return to the space of compassion. To recognise areas where there is scope to make strength/wellbeing/fitness a more inclusive path instead one of just rigour. Rigour is good for those who can stay in it, but often it can be discouraging. We recommend trainers of every style to explore the Gaga workshop just so that we may be able to shift this culture just a wee tiny kind bit.
Coming to the Gaga workshop as a group has many benefits. First one – amazing discounts. Second one – it helps to explore your dynamic as a team. If you’re a creative bunch that find yourself always at odds with the cold practical demands of the business-side or vice-versa, it helps you explore a middle ground, a very vital connection. Moving together in a safe, non-judgemental space is extremely powerful when it comes to synchronising collective mindsets and we urge you to explore this.
Think of movement as something that can Heal and come, go Gaga at Shoonya this December.
A revolutionary movement language that has taken the West by storm, we invite you all to our space to experience Gaga!
If you’d like to register or know more about the classes in December click here.
-By Dannilla Donald Correya