The project Antygone Today, was a training and youth exchange for reflecting on our own feelings and emotions using theatre, performance tools, debate and nonverbal communication, among others.
Antygone play, is a Sofocles’ performance from Greece classic dramaturgy. The leading role, Antygone, want to worship his dead brother. Nevertheless, it’s not allowed by law. The main spokesperson of law is Creonte, the king. Between Antygone and Creonte, a debate about what is correct and what isn’t, is performed in front of the Corus. The Corus represent citizens and these observe the dialogue between the leadings roles.
From the same situation and context, a lot of comparisons can be established with our everyday life debating if it’s correct or not to break the law. This situation brought a space of discussion in the group.
Personally, from my scientific background, having the chance to interact with a lot of people of the artistic field (theatre, actors and dancers) and other people from Social Integration and others, was a unique opportunity for doing a lot of learnings and nurturing communication, nonverbal expressions, dancing and choreography.
I want to point out briefly, the characteristics of the group. We were 36 volunteers from France, Portugal, Bulgary, Italy, Romania, North Macedonia, Greece, Austria and Spain. We were a big group guided by 3 trainers: Boyka – project coordinator and Valerio and Carlo Mauro – Both of them from the artistic sphere being a theatre director and choreographer, respectively. Boyka, Valerio and Carlo Mauro were an expression of talent and warmth with a shared goal.
The success and satisfaction of this kind of project, I think it’s greatly influenced by the people, the volunteers or in other words, us. I can say the topic of the project has been a pull for people of different fields, vocation and sectors but all of us had been willing to share, learn and have fun learning.
Performing a theatre play, is something a lot of us had the opportunity to do in our childhood and adolescence but few times, in our everyday life, we are used to use a set of tools linked to the personal and/or artistic filed. Among these abilities I would like to highlight dancing, nonverbal communication, intonation, silence while speaking, hearing the breath, among others.
One of the phrases used by Carlo Mauro was “Make possible what is impossible; make simple what is possible; make pleasant what is simple”. With this phrase and a learning vocation and enjoy the process (have fun), a performance was carried out. Some days before, it would have been impossible. We did a show combining choreography, dancing and brief dialogues. Possible and Simple. With extraordinary people with a share goal of learning and move forward together, the performance was a pleasure.
Below, we explain the learning made by each of us.
– The bond: with only 10 days, with people from different countries, we have made a bon despite the linguistic and cultural differences. A unique bond.
– I feel these 10 days have been a really important part of me because I have learnt to communicate and speak without words and see myself as I hadn’t seen before. I met people that I will never forget; one way or another, I will feel them inside me.
– Desenrascar: it means “do it; it doesn’t matter how, but do it” in Portuguese. It’s a way to describe the project. It doesn’t matter if it’s dancing, speak English, theatre or doing an Exchange. DO IT.
My learning in this project is learning to embrace/hug. One of the activities we did, started in a open space in the forest. In this place, everyone was walking. Sometimes slowly, sometimes faster. Then, we were stopping at different moments when Valerio was doing a signal.
Between each one of the steps, we were walking at different rhythms.
- Stop: we simply stop
- We hug a person: at the time we received a signal, we hug the person we have closer or that we feel we want to embrace
- We made the movement of hugging without any person: this time, we stop and we were willing to feel the memory, the sensation of the hug without a person. In this moment, we could remember the hug we just had a moment ago or in a concrete moment of someone close to us (family or friends). It was about feeling the moment.
- We remember the last caress: this time, we do the movement with the hand expressing the last caress to a person. This gesture, can be done thinking about a person we did the last hug.
- Stop: we simple stop.
At the beginning of this dynamic, Valerio, one of the trainers set the rhythm. On the following days, this dynamic was part of the performance we were preparing, during the following trials, we set the rhythm.
This dynamic among others, allow us to enrich the expression of feelings and emotions. Personally, I hugged people before but until the exchange, I didn’t stop in the hug without thinking; we all had have the thought if I have to embrace stronger or not, when we have to let go. I have learnt to focus on breathing, in the heartbeat, in feeling the contact with the other person, in what the body is feeling, in staying in the hug.
Hug is a healing tool but I have discovered I didn’t know how to embrace or I was afraid to hug. During the exchange, the phrase “I need a hug” was translated to different languages. This, was an expression of a good dynamic in the group and the impact of the activity.
Non formal education and a safe and caring learning environment, has allowed us a transversal learning for whole live with a technique we will apply to our everyday life in our professional and personal life.
Thank you to everyone to make it possible!
Ramon, Judith, Ainhoa, Oriana, Paula.