PROCESS // Massimiliano Balduzzi: Physical Training for Performers (Video #5)


VIDEO #5: "Isolations/Impulses"


This is the fifth of six new video documents of Massimiliano Balduzzi's solo physical training for performers. These videos document a research in solo physical training developed by Massimiliano Balduzzi over more than fifteen years. In them, Balduzzi is shown practicing a sequence of exercises/actions, integrating floor work and impulses/isolations, and finally putting all of these elements together in a session of "open work."


The videos were shot in February 2013 by Ben Spatz and Manuel de la Portilla at CAVE home of LEIMAY in Brooklyn, and edited by Spatz. Each video will be accompanied by a short text, which has been edited and redacted by Spatz from an extended interview with Balduzzi that took place on March 15th. In addition to being hosted by conectom and Vimeo, these video documents will also become part of the Routledge Performance Archive, an online database of multimedia performance materials intended for scholarly research.


For more information on Balduzzi's work, visit the website:


Ben Spatz




TEXT #5: "Context"

by Massimiliano Balduzzi

What we see in the videos is a specific part of my training. It’s what I call “building a physical sequence.” There are specific exercises, and there is building a sequence of these exercises. There are also other exercises that are not shown in these videos. There are other kinds of individual work, like a specific work on balance. There are other parts of my training that are done in pairs or groups. We decided that it was important now to film the solo work. It’s the first step. In the solo work you can already see the principles: Opposition, balance, impulses, and the overall work on presence. In the couples work, there are parts of the training that I call “fight” or “dance-fight,” “meetings,” and “push and pull.” These can be done in two or in a group, and the playfulness starts to appear more. Through the relationships. Imagine another person doing the same sequence in a different order—or even with difference exercises—and interacting with me in the space. What happens if we have two people, or ten people, doing that kind of work, and we give them a general theme? Or each of them has a different, secret theme. Then there’s the vocal work. There is a specific vocal training. There are exercise-actions with the voice, and the possibility to put them together in a sequence. Anne told me—she insisted on this—that the same principles you find in your body are in your voice. The body is the voice. In my experience with the voice, there’s a subtlety even more than with the body. A lot happens when people start to work on voice. Maybe it’s just my experience, but I have a sense that it’s easier to hide behind a body than behind a voice. The voice reveals a lot.

There is a little bit too much tension in this solo demonstration. I was really conscious of the presence of the camera. There is not much playfulness. I may have been too focused on doing well, on giving a good demonstration. That’s connected to something I am working on today: How to be rigorous and show a good technical training, but also not lose the playfulness. There are moments, in these videos, when I can see that—because of my awareness that I was being recorded—I was more focused on the technical aspects of the work. Maybe more than if I were alone in the studio.

It’s strange to think that this video could be what is going to last about my training. I’ve been doing the training for years, and I had days where I felt like I was flying, and being in connection with the divine, and days in which I felt like shit. But this particular day is what is filmed. Of course, it’s different to see it live and to see it in the video. In life, you are present to the person. With the videos, you are present to a computer. In life, the breath is more audible, there is the sense of smell, and a different quality of listening and watching. Smell is really significant. Also, these videos show something that happened in the past. It would be different if this were live streaming video. Still, you don’t have the body, the presence of the body.

Now I have a strong desire to teach this training. I feel the necessity to give, to pass it along. A thing grows and grows and grows, and then you have to be able to give it. You’re not going to lose it if you give it. You lose it if you don’t give it. That’s my sense today.


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