Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thought I would write my dance (Dismantle Map) down in words. I will start soon on a new stage of development with this work. Thinking of transferring the images to Matt so that he can move them with his body. God knows what I’ll do – learn to play the trumpet?

So here’s pretty much what I’m thinking from start to finish inside the dance. However, I allow other thoughts that come up in the moment to also have an impact on the movement. There is lots of time between many of the images for me so I have lots of room to get distracted – as a tactic in keeping myself present. If that makes any sense…

The pot of Vaseline belonged to me. I knew I had to go and get it but everyone was watching.
I quickly walked to it, snatched it up and walked into the wing.
There she was just sitting there in the dark. I smiled at her and said hello. She smiled back.
I carried the pot of Vaseline into the next wing and began to slather it onto my body.
I was glistening and sticky.
I went for the trumpet. It was shining in the dim light and I carried it to its place and lay down.
He lay down beside me and we started to have a conversation.
I can’t remember what we talked about.
You know how time passes when you talk to an old friend.
Then he was gone.
A dead animal lay beside me. Motionless.
I prodded it with my head because I could not use my hands or feet.
They were curled up under the weight of my body.
It still didn’t move.
I balanced on three legs and started to rip its guts out. They flew out into the air and landed on the ground. I decided to push all the guts into one big pile. I thought about setting up a home in these guts. They were warm and would contain my small body safely but I needed to think.
I wasn’t thinking straight.
I paced back and forth, tittering to myself, screeching to clear my head.
I went back to the place where I had made the pile but the environment had changed.
I waited.
I heard a sound.
I listened with the back of my hand and played with a piece of food between my fingers.
I leaped forward into a new place contained tightly inside my head.
A memory maybe…I ran my hands upside the long oat stalks. I brushed the top of the stalks lightly with my fingers and looked up to the sky.
Drops of blood fell on my face and I opened my mouth to taste one.
I sank to the ground, carefully positioning myself on a large platter. I would wait here as they turned me round and then would carve me.
I thought I should tell you how I got here in the first place.
Then they started to pluck me, pulling out my feathers one by one. It was agonising.
Then they stretched my empty skin.
A knife dragged up from my lower belly to the top of my rib cage and my insides came pouring out onto the floor. I thought maybe I would eat them myself in a savage way.
But I was a good child who stood up straight and danced beautifully, my arms flung around my father’s neck, standing high on tip toe.
Another drop of blood from the sky and I sank down again.
Here was that familiar bed of nails. I knew just how to guide my body down upon it without getting hurt.
I looked at those big calves. Look how that muscle shakes on the bone.
I could play a tune on those. They are like two big drums.
Distracted and now staring at my toe with an empty head.
A noise?
Shit. Hide!
Hide behind him.
There is a pathway here or maybe I can make a pathway.
There is substance here.
I can twist it and make myself rise.
Knock, knock. Please let me in.
Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.
No one wants me in.
I am breaking.
See me.
I see you.
Look, I can stand straight.
I can walk.
In heels.
Fuck that.
I am a beast.
A gross animal.
That walks with legs sprawling to arrive…
Finally a moment here, sitting in peace like a silent butterfly.
This spider comes from that pile of guts, he crawls out from it towards me and onto my hand, under my skin, into my hip and chews away my muscles. I only have a large bone sitting inside my pelvis. My leg is uncontrollable. It drags on the ground behind me as I hobble along forwards into the nest. The spider begins to wrap me. I am becoming empty, hollow, dead.
Only the smallest will to live allows me to begin scraping the web off my body and slowly my movements have more freedom.
I back out. I back away.
In a state of trance I slide the feathers off my skin. I dust them from my back, my butt, my belly.
And the sound still comes.
The environment has changed.
Maybe the music makes this all happen.
It is my old friend.
But the music must stop.

Friday, February 18, 2005

A brave step...this is my first "off the cuff" post (i.e. I haven't worked and re-worked what I want to say first in Word and then pasted it here). So adventurous for a Friday morning! I should be working on my PhD writing but can't face it. Feeling uninspired and so thought cranking out a posting for the site would be easier. Covered three technique classes for a colleague who was away yesterday and really enjoyed it! My latest discovery that I am quite personally excited about is this:
If you lie down on your back and place your hands on your lower abdomen and then think (not do, but just think) about lifting your head up off the floor then your abdominals engage! I discovered this whilst lying in bed the other night before drifting off to sleep. I know it sounds petty initially but doesn't this further exemplify the non-dualist perspective of body and mind?
Anyway, I made all my students do it in the classes I taught yesterday but I used it then to illustrate the difference between a strained abdominal engagement with movement vs. one that is supported through the core of the body when you pull the navel to back and to the spine and lift up on the anus. The anus is a bit unsavoury to write about but firstly, this is an uncensored post for Friday morning and secondly, I am aiming to prove a point. That being, that there is a strong connection between the yoga work that I do (specifically pertaining to the bandhas or locks in the body -- the navel and anus being two of these locks) and my dance practice. The idea of core stability is highlighted in both disciplines but rarely (to my knowledge) linked. So why not teach dancers the bandhas? If you can bear it as a teacher to say, "Now, lift up on your anal sphincter muscle and pull your navel up and back towards your spine" then I think we may be on the pathway to cultivating dancers with strong centres. As opposed to the old, "Engage your centre!" whilst the dancer thinks to themselves, "How the hell do I do that!" "Where is my centre?"
Just a thought...