Today we continued with the physical training and song. It is nice to start noticing how the body slowly starts to understand the movement exercises and you can start going deeper into the practice. I feel how the movement training with the breathing leaves an effect for a long time, you feel more present and open for the rest of the day. I find it a bit more difficult to learn the songs (also since I have a sore throat) and I am fighting with my frustration (not in a negative way).
We also started to work on our actions and shared the first starting point with our colleagues. It was so nice to see everyone, one by one, showing their world to us. I am very curious to see where this will all develop to. At least for me, using the painting, memory, song and the poem I am finding some interesting opportunities to start working with. 

We also had a tour with a local who told us stories about the town and took us around. They really keep the traditions still alive here which makes La Alberca a very special place. Also when we were on the tour, some of his friends and family showed up to greet us from their balconies. They also sang us some songs from the wedding festivities they celebrate in a special way here and told us, with many interesting details, about the tradition. I also found a video where you can see this wedding tradtition “Boda Serrana” (minute (8.20) in La Alberca in 1947.

Sanna Toivanen

“I have many things to say but no words,” Fabio said today. I think all of us have many questions but it is hard to put them into words or find the right moment to ask. It was nice and important today to take the time for questions (even though we always do!). I had been going through certain ideas and thoughts in my head but didn’t have the urge to share them before and it was nice to say them out loud and not just keep them in my head. When you train and work with so much energy, with so many different energies from other people as well, sometimes it feels too overwhelming and I get this feeling that I can’t take more of it inside. That I should close myself a bit to protect myself. Where to canalize all these energies that you take in? But it is a way to find something interesting, and important and to connect to others. It is an opportunity for something more, something deeper perhaps. 
Also, today was very nice to join for a while the other artistic group from the augmented and virtual reality lab, who are working in the theatre on the main square. We were shooting some details of the body for the projections. It felt important to share the work with them, just like when they came to our training one day and now some of us could go to theirs. Very excited to see the result!
After dinner when going for a little walk before heading to the hostel I saw two horses in the dark. What a beautiful and peaceful moment!

Sanna Toivanen

Today after training we continued with the work on our actions and shared them with everyone. We also learned new songs.
Today was a bit more of an explosive day; some bottles broke, there were some discussions and I received a splash on my face. I was reminded today of my naiveness, a necessary wake-up call. I am grateful for this experience, you never know what you will learn in these opportunities and residencies. Thank you!
Perhaps we have gotten to this point where we are tired of course but also are starting to open up and work with so many emotions and personal things that even if it’s a little stormy, now it is the moment we can actually find something interesting we want to work with in our actions, something true to us and interesting, an opportunity. And also to start to trust and work more together as a group.

Sanna Toivanen

Today was a day of the forest, really. We walked to the space where we will present our material and it was so nice to be in nature and work a bit our actions there. There are still many doubts and questions about what are we going to present but it was important to be in the space. Then we continued working on our actions and in the evening we went for another walk in a beautiful forest. There was a situation with the group as a team but in any case it was nice to be there. I feel like this stormy energy is still continuing today. Hope we can feel more united as a group tomorrow and that this experience will strengthen us. 
Also I had lovely food made by Matteo (what a great chef!) today. It is not easy to be vegan in this town. Meat meat meat! I am grateful for David, Pier and Matteo for taking care of me and my food.
Feeling curious about tomorrow. But calm.

Sanna Toivanen

Here we are, close to the end of the residency. It is nice to be in Salamanca, it is very hot but it has been nice to have a tour of the city (so many beautiful buildings!), also some time to rest and just to talk with everyone. We also had individual chats with Fabio and Roberta, and I really appreciate that they take this time to talk with each one of us. Slowly we are starting to process what has happened and how we have felt during this time and also start looking ahead to the next residencies. Today we will have our last sharing of our work here in Salamanca, which I think will be a beautiful moment to share and dedicate to all of us. I’m feeling grateful to have been part of this project and for the people I have met. I feel like I have learned a lot, especially about myself and about working as a group and I have a feeling like this has been more important to me than what I know yet. Thank you for the whole team, the organizers and the participants, for this journey.

Sanna Toivanen

Departure day. 

I feel so grateful for this wonderful experience. The organizers have been so generous with us, sharing their work, ideas, and their hearts with us. 

After the performance in the park (where we had some challenges with sound pollution) we’ve had two full days of the seminar Saving Hope: Theatrical Artivism in Spaces of Conflict. What a great initiative. We heard about amazing projects around the world and had the chance to meet (some online, some face-to-face) these incredible people who work so hard to bring joy to people’s lives, give their voices and bodies to people who need to be heard and seen, bring awareness and support, fight, create art,… All of them are so inspiring and impressive. These people and projects are really making a change in the world (with theatre!). It was emotionally quite tough few days but at the same time, it brings hope to us as artists and humans that thanks to these individuals and communities there is some hope. Sometimes you only need one person to start a change.

Is a river a person?

We also had another meeting with the project Osoba Odra, to save the local river that has been contaminated. I felt very connected to this project and would love to help out. You can find more information about the project and see some inspiring videos on their website:

A little summary of the whole residency for me:

Deepening the training. Connecting movement more easily with breathing, connecting more with the ground. Always in contact with someone.
Songs. We repeated a few songs we had learned in Spain and started with some new ones. It was great having Anna Cinzia with us to teach us how to use a bit better our voices. Grazie Anna!
Places. Such special places the Brzezinka forest and Wrocklaw and the Na Grobli Studio. Living as a community.
People. The kindest people (especially the Astràgali team and Jarek and Tymon from the Grotowski Institute).
Soup! We had lots of soup, beetroot, potatoes and pierogi. Thank you for providing vegan food (and special thanks to Pier for the extra proteins!).
Performance. In the end, it didn’t rain and we even had a rainbow before the performance/sharing of work. A beautiful park by the river but unfortunately also a popular camping spot and party boats passing by. But, to perform with such a contradiction was quite an interesting experience and forced us to be 200% present and to support our colleagues. Also beautiful work with the projections (Salento team!).
Seminar. A very important part of the residency and extremely interesting.

There are so many battles to join and we all have our own fight. But one thing I have learned from this residency: Don’t stay alone.

Thank you and see you in Lecce!

Sanna Toivanen

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