Last week I was training teachers in London, and I wanted to run a session on how to physically reflect on a performance. I had been working with students the week before on Laban routes and creating a solo piece based on a single line, so I thought I would transfer the idea to reflection.

The night before the group had been to see ‘Absent’ by Dreamthinkspeak at Shoreditch town hall, and the piece had been described as a promenade performance, so I thought a promenade reflection would be perfect.

Any production we go to see is our own individual journey, so the line drawn and the practical walk done later is done alone, as a an individual journey. Here is how to do the practical reflection:

  1. Draw a line which was your journey through the play. Start at one corner of the paper and finish at another
  2. Mark on the journey 3 things you SAW. Mark where they were and what they were.
  3. Mark on the journey 3 things you HEARD, SMELT or FELT.
  4. Mark on two things that you remember in DETAIL.
  5. Mark on two points on the journey where you had a MEMORY, IMAGINED something or experienced a strong EMOTION.

Once you have drawn your map you physically walk it through in the room. When you come to anything marked on your journey you stop, pause and try to recapture that moment. Once you have walked it through you then find a partner and share:

  1. The entire general journey (with first partner)
  2. The things you saw, heard, smelt and felt (with second partner)
  3. The details, memories, emotions and imagination (with the third partner)

Finally as a group you share how you could use the ideas from this performance in your own work with reference to the performance techniques, use of space, themes and impact.