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Mirrors

I put on a CD at this point. I like John Cage’s early short works on prepared piano. Still paired, I ask the students to mirror each other’s movements. But instead of having a mirror and a person, I tell them that there is no leader, that they must do unison in “floating leadership”, and alternate subtly between them as to who leads and who follows. After a while, when the players begin to sense the partner’s rhythm, his or her resistance or availability, both begin to “mirror” almost instantaneously, anticipating each other’s moves. They become as one. But it is mandatory that they sense the other person’s style, the speed with which they react, the capabilities of their bodies. No-Focus Focus is needed here, as it opens peripheral vision of the whole body in front of you, and shows where the weight is transferred, thus anticipating the next move. Empathy is needed, and a willingness to be equal rather than ahead of the other. A strong lesson is learned, without emphasizing it verbally, and a technique established that will be of great importance in the improvisation work.