Tag Archives: dance musings

warning: slightly incoherent dancer geekery ahead

Last night, Jill and I sat talking about being an aerialist versus being a dancer. The anatomy of aerial. The shortening and lengthening of lines… What is holding oneself in space? I mean, what is it to the body? And holding oneself up on the floor? What is release technique in the air? What is lifting off the ground? She showed me old videos of herself from before she was an aerialist, and I saw myself in the way she moved then, as now… sameness walks ahead of us so often.

She said to me, “I need to dance like this again.”

These inquiries are what make the process interesting to us, I think. Infusing aerial technique with a dancer’s awareness.

But it doesn’t feel the same. Your body changes and adapts to aerial and you can’t change it back. In dancing, lines are long, spirals are recognized, initiations are fulfilled. Defying the laws of physics and fighting gravity… feels like physical deception. Sometimes. Where are my spirals then? My center is shortened– higher. My arms are never easy, my fingers always curl, sending energy back in to my hands instead of out beyond. The look of ease is just a look. The work of suspension is more than that of standing, because it has to be. Because the shoulders aren’t connected bone to bone the way the pelvis is. It’s not metaphysical. Just plain physical.

But what if, as we hang and lift, the spirals simply shift– into the palms then into the apparatus? What if we yield our energy up instead of down? What if the “ballet spaces” are widened by gravity when we are hanging– there’s no floor to stop expansion, after all. What if the work is not what we focus on, but the feeling of height, large-ness, being able to reach energy up and down much further into space than when we had the floor to fall into? Then make gestures as poignant as those we made while standing– choreograph with twists that twist “up into” instead of “down into”, with gestures that happen in our feet, which are free… Articulate the same thoughts in different physical places. Then, being in the air becomes less confining — not an obstruction to movement, just a place of different abilities.

I think of this when I’m on the floor.

Now, if I could only think of being on the floor when I’m on the floor, like everyone else… now that would be something.

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itchy feet

thinking about the twisted train solo …. dirt and anticipation, fear and itchy feet….i wanted to leave today. this town feels too small sometimes, but i guess even new york city can feel small if you never leave your own little circle. i found this awesome antique caboose once, somewhere north of seattle. it had a bed, a furnace, little dining table, and a cool seat that was situated up high in front of a window so that you could see what’s coming down the tracks. sometimes i wish i had a view like that of my own life, and of the creative process in particular. More often than not it’s more like my head is in the furnace wondering what’s cooking and praying we don’t derail.
I’m happy get back to work, but i’ll be even more happy to start working on a new show. I crave some kind of narrative, or at least a definite atmosphere. no.1 felt like a bunch of separate pieces of cloth that will never quite be one thing no matter how artfully you try to weave them together. ) Nevertheless, i think that’s okay to have a patchwork as a first show….i’m just impatient and like i said before, i have itchy feet 馃檪
good thing we’re going to NYC!!!! Yay!


ballet class

“What thou lov’st well remains, the rest is dross
What thou lov’st well cannot be reft from thee”

What is it that makes the memory of one rainy day in June —
a toxic “park” down by the sugar factory —
makes it so vivid now
he came up and said, “i am so sick, i tell you whut”
and i said i’ll take you home just follow me down here

and when i am dancing, holding on to shape and line, lifting through one tendu then one degage
this memory returns to my body

and then i see rama and sita
sitaramsitaram
and my feet are lifted then too and i come to in a moment
another life i had
a “summer of” as it wuz
the memory of your afternoon silence
on the day we had disappeared completely
and you wouldn’t speak anymore
now you know that you were thinking “whatever happens, this is.”
and i was already a ghost

and these days i move though greyer streets than home

i think of India, a big wave

Brett’s cigarette butts in the hotel drawer

Perestroika for Young Audiences

what is and is not property, “yo quiero mucho”

and i almost fall off the barre.
i so want to fall off the barre.

still tucked inside, the eidolons of mango honey


on feb. 14

We are entangled. We have convoluted weight shifts. All that effort feels good. And ease? That could feel good…to execute and to witness. Laban theory I learned through modern dance training clarifies possibilites. Laban categorized Effort in Flow: free or bound, Weight: light or strong, Time: sustained or quick. Space: direct or indirect.
Is the movement fluid or restrained? How much weight should I put into this? Am I floating or thrusting? Gliding or slashing? Dabbing or wringing? Flicking or pressing? We are open to a myriad of movements. These movements all have vast emotional content. Do we make that jumpy, allegro piece that we talk about? We will delve deeper and look closer at the edges of circus and dance and what qualities these disciplines sustain that make them distinct. We deconstruct again and reconstruct again. The story lies within it all girls, let’s try to not overanalyze it. Easily said…


rehearsal

au路then路tic路i路ty

(么’th臎n-t沫s’沫-t膿)
n. The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.

(The American Heritage庐 Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright 漏 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.)

What would happen if all our relationships were based on physical touch? On lifting, heaving, pushing, tipping, rolling, moving… each other. Around. On complete physical honesty. On what CAN you do with your body? With mine?

I am just wondering if what is for us the everyday experience of total physical authenticity is what informs the authenticity of our friendships in the moments when we are still. Making them “intense”, sometimes exhausting. Maybe it’s the work of remaining authentic in our conversations as we are in our movement, when our tendency is to do the familiar duck and cover behind the words, words, words. We’re so trained. Our scripts so engraved on our sweet little hearts… It’s just easier, our old brain says.

But it isn’t. You end up misaligned. At cross-purposes with yourself.

Our minds can make a lie out of every nanosecond, but our bodies never do. Can’t do. It’s why dance exists as an artform. Because people couldn’t get authentic enough with words. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people for whom dance is enough. Maybe I will be someday, still.