photo: David Gonsier …Performance as part of the Movement Research Presenting Series 3/19/19 ..¨In Bundled Postures¨ loosely inspired by Eadweard Muybridge´s motiion photogaphy
I have been teaching quite a bit lately, as I have been for 30 years. I am always learning a lot about the body, about connecting, about relating, about moving. Without teaching I myself would probably no longer be interested in moving /dancing, employing both subtle and powerful, expressive and abstract textures because the journey then, as a solo artist, would be I feel, too deep and challenging a journey to go alone.
From some of my recent workshops this past year I have written about my experiences. Most are directly connected to and inspired by the particular group of people I was working with.
Here are some of my random thoughts….
A few of the hardest things to do in a short period of time, I feel, is to change the way one thinks about how they should ¨look¨, what ¨good alignment is¨, what does it mean to ¨let go¨, how to integrate a huge amount of information, and to be confident in the process. How do we continue to practice without over-analyzing, and by using imagery, direction and patience to support daily work, regardless of the style, aesthetic, viewpoint, perspective, – it all takes practice that is thoughtful, and physically exploratory.
Align the bones, using thought, direction and gravity, and the muscles, tissue, fascia etc will sort itself out over time, allowing a new structure to evolve. Change happens slowly, over time, and can happen so slowly that by the time we realize there has been a shift, it can seem all of a sudden,- sparked by one, minute, one hour, one movement, one class although in reality its slow , and non-linear.
Sensations – the small aches, pains, soreness , etc, are fleeting ephemeral experiences that come and go. The tend to be seductive, drawing our attention away from the simplicity and steadiness of our practice, the work at hand, – the work we do with our body, our structure. The skeleton itself has no real sensation.
All too often our sensations and feelings, which are subjectively different than our ¨knowing” can became the base upon which we place our attention. These experiences are important, lending themselves to our interest and embodiment , keeping us excited and encouraging depth, but they do not lend themselves to deep change, to a deep knowing of ourselves and the way we move in the world in our bodies .
Think of, imagine the movement. Refrain, as best you an, to fit everything you feel into a linear container of right and wrong, of black and white. Learning is a process, revealing itself over time with patience and practice. Sometimes change happens and cannot be simply explained, or intellectually understood but clearly, it has occurred.
Let the body learn. Use information to relax the mind, for the body cannot be directed by thoughts, but it can be directed through imagery, movement and breath.
Now more than 40 years ago, it is understood that the mind and body are not separate, and practiced imagery/direction creates change by helping to override the habitual movement patterns.
During this now 9 month pandemic time, teaching almost every day without touching, with two dimensional small views, with on occassion 100 (that was fun!!!) students, and international workshops moved to zoom….
more in the next post!!!
video from NDA Performance Mix 33 at University Settlement Speyer Hall by Jacob Hiss