I remember in any R&R project we start from a moment.
First, we enter a great hall and we sit forming a circle, where the rule is just one, very simple: everyone needs to be able to see everyone else.
Now, imagine a project with around 50 participants plus the staff and the coaches how big this circle became. Actually, it is not a proper circle, it is more an ellisse form following the shape of the room. This, I would say, is the core of R&R value; giving spaces for any voice to speak up and the circle is the essence of it. The circle as a definition is formed by a circumference where all the points have the same distance from the centre. Also, the etymology is very interesting to see, because it comes from the ancient Greek κύκλος, which in Latin means circus.
This round of free presentations really reminds me of a circus, where often performers, singers and dancers find this first opportunity of having a bit of spot-light to show their ‘talents’ or skills. Whereas the media, musicians and writers are quite more shy and they have a very brief presentation. Another character that is often present, specially in the German residencies, is the fluffy and warm Manatee. The Manatee has a very essential role; giving free hugs to anybody that needs it. So, quoting the cult movie from D.Fincher: Fight Club: “if this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight'' then the same happens for R&R, in a little bit more pacific way: ‘if this is your first time at R&R, you have to present to everybody’! Artists are often in difficulty when they have to present themselves, because from one side they want to sell and exaggerate their past experiences, as a way to strike others but as well they want to remain humble and with their feet on the ground.
I am still fighting with myself about it and I really appreciate the chance that R&R gives me to try these presentations, because it is a safe space, so there is nothing to lose and you always feel comfortable to show any version of yourself. The ‘real world’ is different, it is a world full of sharks and judgments in general, and it is very important to have a sharp presentation in formal situations. By quoting H. Ebbinghaus we tend to remember the first (primacy effect) and last thing of something and usually forget the middle part. For that, I conclude back to the first point, the circle. Once Covid-19 is something we can all deal with, we will be able to meet each other physically, this feeling of expectation and curiosity to listen to all these new participants and the old people (new version of them) in the same room will be for sure a magical feeling and like the first time for anybody.
This round of free presentations really reminds me of a circus, where often performers, singers and dancers find this first opportunity of having a bit of spot-light to show their ‘talents’ or skills. Whereas the media, musicians and writers are quite more shy and they have a very brief presentation.