“Suzuki style is designed to fuck you up.” So said the Suzuki instructor Akiko Aizawa at the end of a training session. If I remember nothing else from training with SITI over a few weeks last September, I want to remember that. Of course, the ground was so fertile for laying ideas and observations, I hope I remember much more, but that comment beautifully sums up this technique I’ve only just learned.
I’ve been trying to articulate how the stances and movement of Suzuki force the actor’s body out into the open and demand such perfect focus that it leaves no where to hide. Our casual poses in everyday life let us hide behind our eyes, protect ourselves deep inside our hearts, to be at rest and think our way through every mundane situation. What I experienced in the training was being continually pushed out of my usual habits, especially dropping my head or my eyes, pulling up or rolling my shoulders forward and what I hope is just a Western habit of pushing out my butt when I move. When I let these habits slide I can nest in them and think about whatever I want in life: my bills, my chores, conversations I’ve had or want to have… When I have to correct them on the go and put myself through the Suzuki forms I don’t have time/energy – RAM – to think about anything but what I’m doing. Continue reading