Impulse is like a spark. A spark can engage and/or shock. At one end, this spark can enable quite of a shock if fought against. If embraced, it can act as a magical seed.
Quick movement derived from a spark can draw attention because it plays with time.
The shock comes unexpectedly or out of not being able to sustain the sheer amount of potential energy. What caused the impulse or shock? This is not empty movement, but something forced upon us. Essential movement.
We can resonate with the spark by aligning ourselves with the principles of Noguchi Taiso, which proposes that movement is the natural result of a spark from within ourselves or from earth. Once the spark arises, the body reacts naturally. The muscles act as sensors not actors.¹ If we manage to simply let ourselves react, to embrace gravity, and our body weight, we may find that we will become more energy-efficient and fluid, which will inadvertently put us into a state of nurture or sustainability.
An impulse or shock can affect the body either in succession, e.g. from one part of the body to the other like a wave, or instantaneously like a whole-body shock.
Shock can be seen as one of the four butoh spices: (1) Shock; (2) Sway; (3) Collapse; (4) Die.
Exercise 1: Isolated Impulse
Limit the shock or sudden movement to just one part of the body, e.g. shoulder or left cheek. While walking or in a tame state, try suddenly contracting the muscle(s) that pertain to one tiny part of the body. One could even think of a fly landing on a part of the body and the body response that results.
Exercise 2: Shock Training
Have participants in frozen, walking, or dancing state while you hit two sticks together at random. The stimulus will instruct the dancer to shock for a second or two before returning to their movement. You can vary the shock lengths as shorter or longer. Recommended: Encourage water body, which is the relaxed body reacting to the shock that comes his or her way.
Exercise 3: Cheap Jump Scene
Like the first exercise, when there is a sensitive moment of attention where one is either frozen or in slow movement, suddenly run savagely directly toward the audience either on two feet or as a quadruped. Option to suddenly freeze again once almost reaching the audience.