Archive for May, 2008

tuning

May 23, 2008

to observe and then be observed, know you are bring observed, acknowledge it, accept it, start to feel comfortable in it; explore the boundaries and differences between knowing you are being watched and when you aren’t.  and with it is this heightened awareness of every movement, every breath and with that comes self critique of every action; the head might lead at first and then sometimes a change occurs and thoughts of structure and form, decisions and choices begin to be lead not from the head and not from the movement. the body as vessel and what is that state?!  that moment when the connections instinctually seem clear but you’re not in the head space to need to know why, because it just feels ‘right’; like tuning in to a frequency that is rarely visited.  and you know you are there because the daily practice changes. is it you or is it them? when the observer sees you tune do they tune as well?; it feels that way sometimes; I return to observing, but it feels different;  I’m focused; I see more; my thoughts clarify and the level of the daily practice increases with every 3 minute rotation and then we stop at the moment it feels ‘right’ with our imposed 1 hour structure and we change gears and go on with our day;

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being present

May 21, 2008

I think I realized, probably for the hundredth time although I seem to keep forgetting this point – that being “in” is about recognizing your environment.  being IN the environment.  yesterday, watching, giving my full attention – I couldn’t help but observe the struggle to find it.  to find the thing or the moment where one can sink in, be in.  it seemed a bit like from the start there was that search, so then I suppose the search could be the thing, but not settling into that or allowing the search to be the thing or to just be the thing… one gets stuck or halted or stilted in some way… and stays that way as long as there isn’t an acceptance of that state of being.

 

taking in the environment…  being present.  which is so many things.  being present in ones body, we talk about that in technique class all the time.  not imposing or demanding but observing, accepting and responding.  being present in ones environment.  seeing, acknowledging, hearing, feeling, recognizing and responding – again.  but also being present in some other thing, that feels so much less tangible but it is so clear when I am in it.  some kind of opening to allow something to pass through the body and the moment and the improv… something unplanned, that requires being present pyhsically in order to accomplish, and requires being present environmentally in order to communicate.  but that does not come from a response, but rather comes from some other unknown or unnameable place, and then through me or the improviser it emerges… Hmmm… stated here like i know what on earth i am talking about.  probably exists more in my mind and practice as a series of questions.  maybe next time i’ll think about how to articulate that questioning through these writings more…  let them live here in words more closely to how they live in my mind and practice.

daily practice notes may 19

May 19, 2008

daily practice became such a consistent part of this past winter.  in part it was this rain or shine, sleep or none kind of consistency that became important to me.  the same way that we would move for 3 minutes and then alternate out to watch for 6 and then move for 3 and watch for 6 and just rotate seamlessly in and out of those roles, regardless of where I was at on any given day in any particular moment – watching or doing – my role was defined and the parameter was simply to find a way to be present in that role and see what would reveal itself.  showing up in short.  well what i miss, among so many other questions and discoveries from our winter daily practices, is the regularity of it.  

so here i am back in nyc, jason is in toronto, christian is in holyoke (i might be misspelling that) but i want to reestablish this kind of consistent practice, or some other kind of consistent work.  before we started daily practice it was yoga, and i’ve tried to maybe go back… but that somehow never works, as we all know.  so I need instead to build on this and go on…

well today i had my first experiment with going forward…  for the time being it seems that working solo, in unusual spaces, is going to have to be the way that I enter into this practice again.  until i can organize a free space to work in regularly and until jason returns or i decide to invite someone new into the practice.  dp today took place at the park near our house, with the public as witness.  it is amazing how differently one “performs” or dances based on the attentiveness of one’s audience…  christian – here’s one of your “ism’s” – “my performance is only as good as my audience”.  the park made me “work” so much harder – in order to try to intrigue someone to unknowingly become my witness.  to “invite” people to watch… and then sometimes I felt the opposite happen, where I would go so inside so as to almost have such a personal/intimate experience in public that I gave myself permission to say “please don’t watch – I just need to be here doing this”.  the park here is so different from the arboretum in ann arbor.   here it is a small, mostly concrete park / lots of people swarming over playgrounds and basketball courts – typical nyc neighborhood park.  the arboretum had some sense of privacy to it, where the passerby was an event because they were isolated and less frequent than constant.  here there are always many people, not just nearby, but in the space with you…  I think that finding a sense of real “presence” and honesty in this environment will actually heighten the challenge that I felt in the safety of the studio with the comfort of two witnesses who I knew where always watching and attentive but never judging.  as odd as the scenario actually is here, in some ways it is heightening/or bringing to the foreground some of the questions about the nature of performance and what it means to be “on” and honest all at the same time.  how to interact with less knowing or informed witnesses – might after a time feel like it is no longer an obstacle, or might after a time feel like it is inhibitive for the real explorations to happen – but for the time I am going to stick with it a bit and see where i land, or don’t….

old ramble

May 16, 2008

unpacking, finally, and stumbled across these old questions in a journal from this past fall…  jason suggested maybe I share…

making new work.  looking for what i am making.  unsure of a desire to make neat dances that are organized and that i understand.  that same old constant struggle with uncertainty, of not getting it.  not knowing. or not knowing the answer or making the “wrong” thing.  of not being able to articulate, to name, to understand..  

physically, intuition makes so much sense.  dancing/moving i am so keen, so ready to let go of that need to name and to understand.  as an improviser and a dancer  – turning off the mind and trusting the body.  can one choreograph with this same visceral intelligence.  as choreographer is there a way to just do. to not judge, control, think.  can i watch from outside a work and not think or analyze but feel and experience.  does the very idea of choreography necessitate these ideas of control, thought, an analytical approach.  if the work is considered, which i am pretty sure i think that it should be, what does that mean in relationship to this mind/body connection that flows so well as a mover or improviser.  leading.  following.  with the mind.  with the body.  OBSERVING with mind.   a thinking dancer who is making choices. trusting in the physical intelligence that our bodies posses. removing control or contrived movement worlds.   is the answer as simple as body following instinct when moving and mind leading observation when watching.  and than staying connected to those other ideas by keeping a balance in the process between time spent moving and time spent watching/thinking. then as soon as i ask are watching and thinking the same thing.  i answer to myself, for now, that i don’t think that they are.  do i have to answer the questions or is it more important to be asking them. exploring them.  i am interested in questions and in letting go of the idea that they need to be answered.  it is this search for the answers, or possible answers, that intrigues me.

 

In retrospect a bit of a ramble, not so sensical at times, but at the heart of this old journal entry is what i think daily practice became about for me.  the space to move and share and witness, the asking of questions in a given moment, be them our own or those in the practice with us.