The Intervention of Loneliness
A Powerful Performative Proposal for MWe
By Gizem Aksu (4th March 2023, English Theatre Berlin)
The slow dances that I witnessed and visited in the performance of “The Intervention of Loneliness” by Ming Poon time–traveled me to the interpersonal neurobiological practices in the summer of 2020 [the first Covid-19 summer (my first summer in Berlin after my immigration)]. In the multilayered experience of loneliness, caused by the double bill of pandemic and migration, Wheel of Awareness and MWe meditations by Dr. Dan Siegel soothed my nervous system by providing me with the understanding of mind as a relational and embodied process that regulates energy and information flow within me and between we.*
“The Intervention of Loneliness” was a MWe performance of slow dances poured from tribunes to the dance floor (de)signed by many languages; signalled by radical compassion with accompaniment of silent songs. This interpersonal way of authorship to create a collaborative performance requires intra–connected courage distilled by years of experience of Ming Poon to experiment on queering normative attributions on the positionalities of executor/author, interpreter and audience of a performance.
What I loved the most about this MWe performance is how it created a felt experience of togetherness, coming together; in short, a temporary feeling of being part of a collective mind as a relational and embodied process. It slowly, smoothly, soothingly regulated spatial energy in English Theatre Berlin. This openly called the audience to the dance floor. Audience personalized. Persons interacting transformed into people in du–os, tri–os and other forms of –o’s through dance. Interpersonal spaces of intimacy, interaction and instant invention brought celestial and terrestrial relations and collective constellations. It was indeed a celebration: Celebration of fragility, courage, and transparency which are constantly undermined by neoliberal, patriarchal normative colonial cuts. This shift from systemic cuts to collective constellations consented with/through dance in “The Intervention of Loneliness” was a very strong proposal by Poon as a way of intervention that reminds us ‘change requires a collective action’; as he shared in the after–talk of the performance. Also, one of the slow dancers shared that night: Future is mutual. The other dancer asked: How do we decide dance is consensual? The other dancer encouraged: dance is uninvited, fast and no time to hesitate.
Every slow dance and statement in the performance by anonymous dancers created a social space mediated by different ways of participation and witnessing. I approach this anonymity as a shape–shifting superpower of this performative proposal without erasing the particularities but bringing a spectrum of diversity in a collective ground; which is beyond the need of definition but which becomes a celebration of felt relations.
MWe meditations supported me to break my sensation of loneliness and expand my awareness through mindsight towards social spaces that connected my body to my room in Berlin, to the neighbourhood, to Berlin, to Germany, to Europe to Turkey, to the world, to the universe. After 2 years, similarly in a cold winter, Intervention of Loneliness showed how art, specially dance, can create a felt experience of MWe; a nonviolent non–dual expression of a relational world.
* For further information on interpersonal neurobiological perspective on mind, MWe and wheel of awareness, please dive into the depths of https://drdansiegel.com/