SOMAGICS, MAGICALS AND TRAVELLING TO OTHERWHERE

“Somagics is a game, a way of fooling around, a way of being precise, a proof of smarts, and a way of formulating a thought. It is a way of being me inside all the philosophies and dance practices living in me. Somagics is also a way of giving up, giving up on grasping someone else’s ideas. But in this letting go there is the access to formulate something of my own. Somagics is my own potion and you can have a sip.“

-Laura Nen, an excerpt from text “Miranda, Elina and Eliel”

 

Shortly

 

Somagics is a phenomenological movement practice developed by Laura Nen. The terms Somagics and magicals come from Vincent Roumagnac who invented the names during a little conversation we had in Mustarinda (summer 2022). He kindly let me use the terms and build my artistic practice around them. Somagics is still very much in an experimental phase, which means that this page will be rewritten a few times. 

 

Somagics is the practice and knowledge of using magicals. At the epicenter of Somagics is the aim of traveling to otherwhere. To better explain Somagics it is important to understand the meaning of magicals and traveling to otherwhere. These three terms function inside a singular practice, the practice of Somagics.

 

Somagics 

 

Soma comes from the word somatics, referring to the movement practices which perceive the body from within. Magics means magic, something that casts a spell. In the English language, the plural form for magic is magic, but in magics, the “s" is added to remind us that there are several different ways and schools of viewing magic. The “s” is also an important reminder that somagics is not a singular practice but a constellation of practices.

 

Somagics has a singular goal: travelling to otherwhere, but there are several movement practices that can get us there. That is why Somagics is about constellation of practices. The common nominator for these practices is that they are perception based. For example, Authentic movement (AM) and Deborah Hay performance practice to name few. But it is good to understand that in these practices there is something that is part of Somagics but the whole practice (of AM for example) is not the same as Somagics. A likeness does not mean being exactly the same.

 

Magicals 

 

In short magicals are the tools one needs to get to otherwhere. A magical is a single tool and magicals are many tools. Usually one needs more than one magical to make the travel to otherwhere happen.

 

What magicals concretely are is always in relation to the person using them and to the beforehand defined otherwhere one aims to travel. But there are some generalizations that can help to ease the search. Magicals can be divided roughly into three groups:  sensuous, tactile, and corporeal.

Sensuous asks, what kind of sensuous sphere one wants to activate. Here the magical can be for example well picked music or soft blankets around the practitioner. Tactile is the materiality of the place one is at and how that specificity of that place should and could be used to reach the wanted otherwhere. Corporeal includes the practitioner and different kinds of bodily practices they use. It is good to take into consideration that sensuous, tactile and corporeal are fundamentally intertwined in the corporeal experience of the practitioner. Here the division between them is created just to bring some clarity into the search for magicals. And when you finally go to your quest of finding the right magicals, for your travel to otherwhere, you’ll know where to start searching. You’ll first need to align your sensuous, tactile, and corporeal spheres.

 

 

Traveling to otherwhere 

 

Otherwhere is a place within a place. One travels to otherwhere through the practice of Somagics.Otherwhere is a play between imagination and the concreteness of the space, body, and awareness of perception. Another way to put it is that otherwhere consists of body-mind intertwinement where the practitioners' perception is widely allowed to play in the now.