Openly Spaced Out and the Free to Move Movement
We need space to move freely. In fact we need space to be. Just read that again and let it sink in and then add the aspect that this in no way means that we are alone in that space but in fact that moving freely and wholesome being is a matter of not being along but within and connected to others & animate matter.
With 'Free to Move Movement' we claimed outdoor spaces in 2016 because we couldn't afford space and because the only price we needed to pay was to be tagged as weird; not a high price if you are a performance maker and curious about the unconventional. We settled for various London, UK locations like the square outside Central St Martin, outside the Barbican, Trafalgar Square, bridges and parks and felt elated by the interest of others and inspired by the architecture we found ourselves in. We printed flyers for people to join in, encouraging people to claim space with their bodies and exercise their right to move freely.
At some point we were supported again with indoor studio space and this political space encounter went into slumber mode. When in 2020 Covid lockdown kicked in, we knew we had to go outside.
We opened a WhatsApp group Openly Spaced Out for people to join us moving outdoors in more natural environments because we started to perceive and feel how natural spaces give something to the body, to movement, the way we feel and the way we understand nature, that we fell in love with. This group continues to be a meet up and if you want to join just email your name and phone number (ref Openly Spaced Out) to email@example.com . It is largely SE London based but we are open to suggestions. Here a little more info:
Free to Move
underneath: the front flyer of Free to Move.
Openly Spaced Out
...is a WhatsApp group to meet others and move in local parks. It is a format where actions or 'undoing' derive from listening to what it is we need or want at this given time in this given space. We soften the edges of what we think we need to do, adjusting our methods and exercises to what feels right and where our curiosity leads us. That may be exercises but it might also be lying in the grass, throwing back a ball to a child, cartwheeling or perceiving tiny shifts of weight on an uneven grassy ground.
In not being alone we give permission to do things in our own quirky and untested ways. People that pass by are positively intrigued or don't care much; either way you haven't got much to loose.
We also offer audio guides that you can bring to the park via your phone or an audio device and headphones. These were created by dance artists who work somatically and can fine tune our connectivity to ourselves and to nature, through spoken word guidance. These are available via our archive of Moving On which is the umbrella under which these were created. Have a little roam and under the timeline link and you will find much to explore. There are even more audios via our Spotify link which do have a subscription fee attached but you can subscribe for one month only if you like to enjoy a wider range of audios and a wider range of artists who conceived them.
And yes, it matters to claim this space - for yourself and for each other. Togetherness unfolds differently if we can allow for movement to be present as we meet. It is up to you how much you fill this time with socialising, moving or being or a combination of them all.
Is it a performance? That is your choice. It could be one but the search to connect to what it is I want and need and to allow that to be witnessed is somewhat worthwhile too. It is certainly a generous space as our action is an invitation for others to meet the world differently as they observe another way of inhabiting space and imagine the possibility to meet public spaces and natural spaces differently. That, you may argue, are the virtues of performance.
Those who have done the Shared Practice (the predecessor of Free to Move and Openly Spaced Out) are perhaps more at ease dipping into the questions what it is we want and need and to not be concerned with being witnessed. So it may take time getting used to and we recommend to not put pressure on yourself to do move a lot. Simply do as you like but remember that moving is an option and begin to listen to what it is that wants to move inside or outside of you.
To join our WhatsApp meet up email firstname.lastname@example.org