Conscious Reduction is a response to the saturation of information and influences availed upon us, not only as dancers but also as people. It is not a technique, there are many valid techniques already in existence, but more an approach or practice. It is a manner of thinking that enables one to declutter, to rationalise and channel information, both physical and imaginary, in order to be both highly aware and mindfully free.
In place of a class of set movements, the system uses a structured system of progressive moving exercises and guided improvisation that assist the dancer to become aware of their body and conscious in how to shape it.
A session can serve as both a professional warm up as well as permitting experimentation with movement generation and personalisation. Beyond the application for professional dancers it has also successfully been used in workshops for actors, for persons with no experience of formal movement and also young student dancers, introducing them to a different approach to their formal training. The ease of use of the practice has resulted in it being adopted as a regular part of the company’s (TND) practice whether in creation or on tour. Furthermore, when TND is not officially active, it reunites to practice CR on a regular basis often inviting in local guests to share which further deepens the investigation and understanding of the system.
CR also has a logical extension to duet and partnering work, as the base concepts are shared, whether contemplating one’s own body or the union with another body’s space and weight. As such in 2021 the company held the first open partnering workshop and will continue to investigate and define in this line.
However, it must be stressed that there is no pretence to present one unique way of movement but rather to create a state of readiness in the mind. There is also no desire as such to “brand” but rather to share and to cultivate understanding and encourage critical self observation, in order to obtain a responsive and educated body.