Category Archives: writings

some writings on falling

Falling – A Creative Process (2015) in GJANZ (Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand) VOL 12 No. 1 pp. 17-29 co-written with L. Osborne

‘Messy Bits’ (2015) in Collaboration in Performance Practice: Premise, Workings and Failures Edited by Noyale Colin & Stefanie Sachsenmaier London, New York: Palgrave MacMillan ISBN 978-1-137-46245-9

‘Face to Face’ (2014) in THE IMPACT OF PERFORMANCE AS RESEARCH. Proceedings of CARPA 3 – Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts

‘Can I Let You Fall?’ (2013) In Performance Research 18.4 ‘On Falling’ Routledge pp. 73-82

‘Rise & Decline’, (2012) in Theatre Dance & Performance Training Routledge pp 315-333

Falling Out of Line – Helsinki

January 19th – January 23rd.
Theatre Academy University of the Arts, Helsinki, Finland.
Workshop led by Emilyn

Falling Out of Line.
This was a week long workshop, exploring a psycho-somatic practice of encounter, falling out fixed notions of identity and social behaviour between us. Through improvisational tasks we experienced a process of unravelling and slowing down our approaches to meeting, greeting, reaching, hugging, laughing, turning towards and away from each other. We found ourselves noticing physical and emotional affects of gestures between us, and how this practice, that interweaves ethics and aesthetics, influences choreographic decision making.

The workshop was attended by post doctoral artist researchers and doctoral research students.

a lovely quote by Feldenkrais sent by Anne Makonnen

Yes & No
are equivalent in all respect

To Fall in Love.
to accept “falling” i.e. to experience
the reaction to falling and the anxiety syndrome
that goes with it.
To love properly is equivalent to
falling properly, that is, not experience
the anxiety and fear that accompany
“falling” in Love.
This profound saying has been
formulated after a major mental
effort, on this day of grace, the 30th
of April, 1950 A.D. all by myself. MFeldenkrais’

Falling About feedback


‘So .. the Falling About lab was wonderful. Other than being able to connect with so many interesting people and to re-connect with some old friends, there seemed to be a particularly open atmosphere of enquiry. I am not sure if this comes about naturally when you put people in a room who have come there through a wealth of experiences (both personal and professional), but I felt strongly attached to the ease of communication. This was in stark contrast to the somewhat competitive atmosphere that can prevail in conventional conferences! In Foucault’s terms, you managed to create both a utopian and heterotopian space!’                                                                                               Erica

‘…  sharing such varying perspectives on one and the same topic was pretty inspiring’.                                                                                            Benni

‘I found the morning’s repeated fallings, particularly moving and nourishing: we had a great conversation in one of the small groups  – that I couldn’t quite find the way of sharing at the end of the day, but wish that I had –  about the film Gravity, the horror of non-falling and infinite suspension – there’s something in there about falling as a kind of home-coming.                               Wendy

‘It was so enlivening to attend the on falling round table discussion on Saturday evening. How exciting to hear from a group of such eloquent, articulate speakers, I feel profoundly touched and mentally excited by the nature of this project, which seems so unusually to dwell fundamentally both in the highly academic and physically embodied’.                                                                        Zoe

When falling is funny – the success of failure

PETA LILY has written about her intervention at the lab. the full text is on the ‘Writings’ page. Here is an excerpt: 

When falling is funny – the success of failure

A Workshop Intervention in Clown for Emilyn Claid’s Falling event

‘With my intervention, I decided to put the ‘i’ in falling to share with the participants the gift the clown brings to humanity – the freedom to fail.  The Masters of Clown – including Chaplin, Lupino Lane, Keystone Cops – have explored a ballet of skillful falls.  I chose not to concentrate on the mechanics and craft of falling in my session, but on the ‘physiological’ / social connotations of falling: tripping, stumbling, making mistakes. Outside of Clown and, say, parachuting, falling is most often seen as a ‘fall from grace’, a kind of failing – anything from slightly embarrassing to something shameful or tragic’.

About Falling, Landing, Falling About Alan Frank

‘About Falling, Landing, Falling About’   is written by Alan Frank  and reflects his experiences of taking part in  Miranda Tufnell’s workshop ‘Landings’ and the research lab ‘Falling About’ facilitated by Emilyn Claid at Siobhan Davies Studios in December 2013. 

Alan’s writing, in its entirety, is on the Writings page.

Here are two excerpts:

Our lives move in circles, we move between existential terrors that we try to mask.  We know gravity will win in the end, we will die, we will fall down.  So we rehearse; in films and books and plays and dance, we experience catharsis, we laugh at the clown and his banana skin.

Perhaps the fear of our oblivion is intensified as we stay in such a vulnerable state through the long period of gestation birth and infancy. Laing’s idea is that psychic fears haunt us through life; fear of landing and being sucked down or of not landing and floating away. And so we voyage through life, terrified of drifting and fearing the pull of the anchor. As individuals in our relationships, our work and our play we rehearse the cycle of letting go, of freedom, and of staying put, of the security of constraint. Until we finally have to let go of life itself.


Study room guide to falling

Here is the link to the ‘study room guide to falling’ that Amy Sharrocks has created for Live Art Development Agency.

‘music, photos and films of as many artists’ falling works as I could gather, with a full bibliography of books & essays’ (Amy Sharrocks).


Link to Impossible Return by Adrian Heathfield

Do read this poignant writing by Adrian Heath field. Here is a fragment:

‘…You know how it is when you leave things undone: they soon come back to haunt you. “I am a magician and I have just read your essay on Cooper”, the invitation said. “I have the video. I wonder if you would like to see it?” and so I found myself drawn, but full of ambivalence, sitting on a stranger’s sofa drinking tea, waiting to watch Tommy Cooper die. …’

© A d r i a n H e a t h f i e l d, 2007. A l l r i g h t s  r e s e r v e d.