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St Peter de Beauvoir Town, Hackney, London

15 Jul 2022

The passage of time brought me to an old friend at a new venue. It had been 9 years and 10 days since I first modelled for one of Adrian Dutton’s groups. Since then we had worked together 65 times in 10 different settings until a pandemic came between us. We reconnected here, at St Peter de Beauvoir Town; session 66, setting 11.


Artwork by Peter Dobbin.


Artwork by Peter Dobbin.


Artwork by Peter Dobbin.

The start was considerably more energetic than I expected. After a 5-minute opening pose, we launched immediately into no fewer than fifteen 1-minute poses. Fifteen! I’d anticipated some quickfire work but nothing on this scale. I pivoted, stretched, folded, reached, kneeled, arched, turned, turned and turned again, loving every minute.


Artwork by Peter Dobbin.

Next I had to stay still for fully 10 minutes. It felt like an incomprehensible proposition, but I lucky-dipped my mind for a routine stance to suit the pose length. After standing with hands over and under my face, I ended the first half seated on the floor with one arm resting across a raised knee for 25 minutes.


Artwork by Peter Dobbin.

A break for quarter of an hour gave time to enjoy a mug of tea (slopping boiling water on my feet) plus pita bread, crisps, a custard cream and some lovely conversations. I resumed with a 15-minute pose back upon the floor with arms angled in a way that at first felt interesting, but became increasingly uncomfortable.


Artwork by Peter Dobbin.

And then the final pose, a 25-minute throwback: wide stance, one arm draped across the top of my head, the other around my back. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight was an example of the latter. After ten minutes the upper arm started to tingle, by twenty it was dead, and at twenty-four and forty seconds it slipped off…


Artwork by Peter Dobbin.

It’s hard, balancing a dead weight upon your head when the rest of your body cannot move; especially when that weight is one your own limbs. There were gasps as it fell, but these segued to applause as Adrian called the session’s natural 9pm finish. I had pushed myself a tad more was than necessary. Why? Old times’ sake, I guess.

From → Causes

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