No. 134

Breathing Symphony Brightening

By : Dobrawa

Entrant’s location : Poland



The breath as an automatic function of the body is an act of constant becoming, an exchange with the environment, an opening of the body to the world. The inner and the outer, the intimate and the collective, the personal and the political, meet in respiration. The pulsations of an individual body, entering into interaction with the pulsations of other bodies, look for a common rhythm and the rhythm of an individual breath follows the collective pace, experiencing apnea. The performative event Jaśnienie invites the “spectator” to follow their own natural breath. As air passes from person to person building their body, it is accompanied by a guide- the seashell Rosada. ** The word Jaśnienie from the Polish language can be translated as an act of Brightening. It is composed of two parts: ja - the self and śnienie - the dream, so another translation could be I- dreaming. Concept and founding of the choir: Dobrawa Borkała performance: Dobrawa Borkała and EChO (Experimental Breathing Choir – Eksperymentalny Chór Oddechowy): Robert Bigus, Barbara Borkała, Manana Chyb, Anna Jurkiewicz, Agata Mamczur, Olga Ozierańska, Nadia Szypilow, Aleksander Wawrzyniak and Edka Jarząb sound cooperation: Edka Jarząb space, costumes: Marta Szypulska lights: Aleksandr Prowaliński performative consultation: Anna Nowicka dramaturgical consultation: Anka Herbut music consultation: Wojtek Blecharz pictures by Pat Mic by the courtesy of Komuna Warszawa

What did you create?

I’ve created a performative event entitled Breathing Symphony Jaśnienie, based on an authorial notation. The narratives refer to the underwater origins of life. Breathing Symphony puts a very ambitious task to translate techniques and means artistic work into a new medium - human breath. In the classical paradigm of music, the organ of hearing is inseparable from its perception; we analyze external stimuli. The sound structures in the Breathing Symphony project; frequency, amplitude and rhythm are internal work, and their source is our own body. Time is determined by the breath rate. The paradigm is thus changed. As the air passes smoothly between the participants- building their body, the artistic material seamlessly connects us with the common atmosphere. The audience becomes co-creators of the Symphony. By activating mirror neurons, their breath automatically reacts to the performers' breath.

Why did you make it?

I wanted to sensitize to Breath as an extremely powerful medium for sharing experience, making the conscious recipient a co-creator; both in artistic, social and environmental terms. By changing the relationship with one’s breath, we change the way we relate to another. Breathing reflects the body’s respiratory openness to the world. The inner and the outer, the intimate and the collective, the personal and the political merge through the act of breathing. Simultaneously breathing reflects our strength and vulnerability. By changing the rhythm and depth of the breath, we can switch functioning of the nervous system from the state of arousal to the state of relaxation and regeneration. Breathing reflects a deep context; the one of the intrinsic interconnectedness of eco-systems on earth and beyond. Using the breath as a an art gesture, and air as its medium refers to the tradition conceptual-minimalism tradition. An attempt to build a new language took place many times over the history of art and philosophy. Somehow the breathing language seems devoid of intellectual content, and therefore has the opportunity to be independent of the cultural context and its variation over time. It refers to the most primitive reflexes.

How did you make it?

It has been a 9 months long process. ( although I develop the Breathing Symphony project since 2015). In fall 2018 I’ve founded a social project entitled EChO; Experimental Breathing Chorus in Warsaw with an intention to train a group of amateurs into breath performers. Regular, weekly group practice allowed us to explore and deepen the dynamics of the collective breath. Synchronously I got selected for a summer residency at Komuna Warszawa to develop a Breathing Symphony performance. During an intense research, I’ve been working on the deepest psychosomatic breathing patterns within my own body and its memory. With the Chorus we’d been exploring the air we collectively breathe. We were driven by the following questions How do the socio-political and ecological affect the common atmosphere and therefore our inner respiration? Are those changes reflected in our individual breathing patterns?

Your entry’s specification

The performance lasts between 44- 53 minutes. The scenography consists of a reflex panel 4 x 4m that lightens the stage and a sea shell la Rosada. It can be performed