ARU Magic Me - ARCH Project - Dare To Imagine

Full Report 23 Eliciting In any Gecko creative process there is always a period of eliciting, of us evoking or drawing out information or a reaction in people. This long process, introduced once trust and connection has been established, involves our facilitators opening all their senses to collect snippets and wisps of experiences, feelings and knowledge used to inspire and subsequently create a piece of physical theatre. This approach is embedded with curiosity and openness; the intent is not to arrive and teach or lead, but to learn, gather and then represent and celebrate the individuals who are involved in the process and journey. We elicit not just verbal stories, but also movement qualities, feelings, and responses to stimuli. We may collect these things in note form or through film, and from this wide array of information begin to steer, shape, shift, and focus ideas and themes into a clearer direction and form. This leads to a process of storyboarding a structure that is informed and inspired by this range of offerings. Layers are built, developed, and discarded, and we stay open and flexible to editing and pivoting ideas as we progress. Elicitation leads to many things – choreographic ideas, sense of place, space and location, musical accompaniment, and sense of dynamic or quality. An example from STILL Upon asking, ‘Where do you find joy?’ one of the residents quietly responded, ‘Sailing’ and continued to share memories of sailing trips with her husband and her love of bracing, cold, windy weather. From this small but profound nugget of remembering we created ‘Watery World’, a stark, beautiful environment with rippling aqua tones that the residents entered into and explored, imbued with breath, ebb and flow. Photo: Rich Rusk Whilst verbal stories were useful and informative, other elicitations and discoveries served in the creation of our film. For example, different styles of music evoked different reactions and revelations. When playing rhythmical jazz music, our Associate Director observed one resident’s movement mimicking drumming and striking an imaginary hi-hat. This led to a conversation where we discovered a personal story around jazz in 1961, which was poetically amplified into our section of the film called ‘Jazz World’. The residents’ recollections of the sounds, smells and feelings in this setting informed what this world looked like and fed into the design of this space. Keeping aware and vigilant of residents’ reactions and moods is essential; so much can be gleaned and discovered from the slightest movement or expressive change. These observations can then prompt discussion and discovery, in effect the reversal of the original eliciting process where now, the creative session leads to an eliciting conversation. Eliciting connects us, inspires us, and provides a collaborative creative process placing the participant at the heart of the work, honouring and representing their lived experience. Non-verbal The non-verbal element of our work and methodology is a key factor in the success of this project and the positive impact for the residents. Our work, therefore, does not rely upon