“What Happens Between Us:” A Quest for a Mindfulness State of Mind Through Ritualizing Performance Instead of Performing Rituals Jorge M. Crecis
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Presented at International Conference Performance and Ritual 2012 In the Western world, many authors have traditionally tried to identify the necessary common denominators for a human manifestation to be considered a ritual. However this methodology is questionable because it uses, as its starting point, a range of cited phenomena, assuming that this list is both comprehensive and internally coherent. In order to escape this hermeneutic circle, phenomenology proposes ʻ… not to deduce a list of phenomena from a definition, or to induce a definition from a list, but rather to step back from both, to bracket the phenomenon and ask after its presuppositionsʼ (George, 1996, p.17). In that way, Victor Turner and Richard Schechner identify a ritual, not only through the elements involved in it, but also through the experience of the individual who is implicated in it. Hence, a particular event or activity could be considered a ritual if the participant considers so; and ritualizing, the methodology to access to that particular state of mind associated to ritual. In the piece entitled ʻWhat happens between usʼ, devised by ten third year students at LCDS and directed by me, we ritualized in order to be mindfully aware on the moment of the performance. The experience of the performance was based on getting right the particular state of mind sought during the research. When we performed, the rehearsed discipline blended into a conscious awareness and our body acted as a channel between what we were experiencing and the context wherein we were experiencing it.

In this sense, this work did not intend to choreograph a ritual, to devise a pararitual, or to create a reinterpretation of another existing ritual. The aim was not to perform a ritual but to ritualise performance in order to reach an ideal performative state of mind. In this presentation we will screen key moments of the performance and discuss the creation process and the ritualization undertaken on the moment of the performance. To see the full performance: www.somosquien.org/whathappens.

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